The Little Gold Heart

Our funeral home has always believed that everyone deserves to be cared for in a respectful and loving manner, whether the death is of an elderly person who has enjoyed many years of life or it’s that infant child that never took a breath in this world. We have for many years provided services to parents of babies who have died during birth or following at no cost, but with much compassion and care.

One such family shares their story with us following the death of their baby here in Iowa City. Cara and Garren Zanker’s little boy, Connor died before his birth, they asked us to help care for their little one. They wanted to have cremation take place so they could take Connor back home with them to cherish his memory forever. A couple days after Connor’s death, Garren and their daughter, Kayley made a trip back to Iowa City to bring home Kayley’s little brother, Connor, in the little gold heart that contained him.

Here is their amazing story….

Taking Connor Home

By Garren Zanker

Taking Connor HomeI don’t know if it matters or not, but I’d like to share what happened after Kayley and I picked up Connor.

I thought I would share a story about the next day when I went back to Iowa City. Just Kayley and I went in the morning, we got to the funeral home and waited in the lobby. While we were sitting there, I showed Kayley some pictures of Connor on my phone and explained to her what happened to him. I told her that he wasn’t in mommy’s tummy anymore and that he was born the day before and was very sick and that he died.

She got a little sad and looked at me. “Connor died? Is Mommy sad?”

I said yes but we were at the funeral home to pick him up in his special golden heart, so that we could still take him home. That was when the funeral director brought out the urn. I took it out of the little black velvet pouch and showed the gold heart to Kayley. She wanted to hold it, so I gave it to her, but told her to be careful like it was a little baby. So she took it and gave it a little hug and rocked him in her arms.

Taking Connor Home

When we got in the car, Kayley was still holding him, (she held him the whole way back) as we were driving, she was talking to the heart, so that Connor could know what was out the window. She told him all the stuff she was seeing, all the buildings, the trees, the birds, everything!About half way back, I saw three bald eagles out in a field and I pulled over so we could look at them. While we were sitting there, Kayley looked at me and said, “Daddy, Connor turned into an Eagle, he’s a bird now and can fly!”

I didn’t know what to say, I could only agree with her. I don’t know how she came up with that all by herself.

Taking Connor HomeAs we got back on the road, and about five miles up the road, I saw another eagle flying, as it went to land in the field though I was amazed, (and I wished that I had a camera) because there were at least 30-40 eagles on the ground. It was a once in a lifetime moment.

As we continued home, I saw eight more eagles flying around or in the trees, including one right outside our house when we got home.

thanks again,

Garren and Cara Zanker