Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
This memorial website was created in the memory of our sweet boy gone home, Paul Walter Gil Hernandez, who was born in San Francisco on July 12, 2004 and died on July 31, 2004.

We will remember and miss him forever.

Thank you so much for visiting; it means a lot to us.

-- Andrew & Erica Hernandez, Paul's parents
-- Sarah & Abigail Hernandez, Paul's big sisters
Click here to see Paul Hernandez's
Family Tree
Tributes and Condolences
Always in our prayers   / Stephen, Vicki And Family McCluskey (Friends)
We were introduced to little pauls father on a trip he had to Scotland.
We exchanged e mails, and he is considered a firm friend of the McCluskey clan in Scotland.

He shared with us his joy and grief in the situation surrounding the l...  Continue >>
Thank you for being with us, baby Paul   / Patrice Lee (auntie)
I just want to write a few lines to express how special baby Paul is. I am so thankful that you were born and were able to show such a fighting spirit, a spirit of courage and life, even though your life was brief. Your life has impacted us a...  Continue >>
Seeing the Love   / Sally Howell (Just A NICU Nurse )
I visited a knitting web site.  As I clicked I saw him wrapped in Love.  I knew imediately he had gone to a different place but he lived in the heart of a loving knitter.  What a wonderful way to see him for the first time.  I hav...  Continue >>
And God Said...   / Diane Cassidy- Angel Mom-Katie
I said, God I hurtAnd God said, I knowI said, I cry alotAnd God said, That's why I gave you tearsI said, Life is so hardAnd God said, That's why I gave you loved onesI said, But my loved one died!!And God said, So did mine!!I said, It's such a grea...  Continue >>
Holidays.....  / Diane Cassidy- Angel Mom-Katie
     Christmas is the happiest of times for those who believe....   Christmas is the saddest of times for those who grieve....   May God bring you and your family comfort to help ease the pain!!   Your...  Continue >>
Click here to pay tribute or offer your condolences
His legacy
A Mother's Comfort  
In March, 2015, I published a shawl pattern inspired by our experience with Paul, Lady Macbeth, and a bereaved mom's need to be comforted. Pattern: Description: ”…I have given suck, and know How tender ‘tis to love the babe that milks me….” - Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 7, Line 54 A leaf falling off the family tree is a common image in the Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) community. In some hospitals, when a woman is experiencing a stillbirth instead of a typical delivery, the nurses put a picture of a leaf on the door so that staff coming in will know what’s happening and will be appropriately sensitive in their interactions with the family. I really like this image; I even have a pendant with a picture of a tree with a falling leaf that I often wear in memory of our son Paul. After we lost Paul, I discovered how much I appreciated being able to envelop myself in a big, soft, comfy shawl when I felt sad. It really does feel like a hug to me, so I give you A Mother’s Comfort. The motif of the leaf falling from a tree makes this larger and slightly more complicated than Simple Comfort, but a grieving mom won’t mind waiting longer for this special gift; she’ll miss her child forever.
UCSF Time of Remembrance  
On Tuesday, May 16th, our whole family attended the second annual Time of Remembrance at UCSF.  This is a ceremony for families who have lost a child -- of any age from stillbirth through teens -- at UCSF.  This year, Erica was chosen as one of the speakers to give a "personal reflection".  This is the gist of what she said:

The last two years or so, my life has been characterized by a series of questions.

  • How did I get pregnant?  How will we handle this?
  • What if Paul has something fatal?  How do you plan a funeral for a baby?
  • How do we balance my health & his health?  What if my organs start shutting down?  How long can we keep him inside?  What if I go into labor?
  • How do we handle his disabilities?  What do we do if he gets to leave the hospital but can't come home?
  • How do we know when it's time to remove the ventilator and other life support?  How do we deal with this?
  • How will we survive?  How do I even get up in the morning?

After Paul died, there were different questions.  Some were unanswerable and only led to bitterness and more pain :

  • Why us?
  • Why Paul?
  • Why do those people get to have a healthy baby and we don't?
  • How can I face yet another person who asks where my baby is?  How do I keep from answering "Saint Joseph's Cemetery in San Pablo"?

Other questions have led to positive things:

  • How can we bear this pain?  How do others survive?
    • We started attending SAND meetings periodically and made some really special friendships.
  • How can I turn my pain into something positive?
    • Picked up my knitting needles and knit my grief, then wrote about it.
  • How can we honor Paul's life and use it to help others?
    • Donated his life insurance money to The Hope Technology School.
    • Did the March of Dimes walk.
    • Made a donation to UCSF Children's Hospital on the anniversary of his death.
    • Make an annual donation to the Macy's tree-lighting to benefit UCSF Children's Hospital.
  • How can I help other parents like us with babies like Paul?
    • Made preemie hats for UCSF ICN.
    • Made hats & other things for The Preemie Project.
    • Working with other parents from SAND to provide care packages for parents of dying babies.
  • How can I raise PAIL (Pregnancy And Infant Loss) awareness?
    • Wear picture button of Paul July 12 - 31 every year.
    • Wear the button during PAIL Awareness Month every October.
  • How can we use our pain to educate others?
    • Spoke at Synergy nursing conference in November.
  • How can I reach out to others in the world at large?
    • Had the story of knitting my grief published in December in a major online knitting magazine.

 All these great things that have happened since Paul's death by no means make his death worth it or OK -- nothing could -- but with each positive thing, the pain is a little less raw, the load a little lighter, and I take another step or two toward healing.

Care Packages For Parents  

With our friends from SAND, we are helping to create care packages for parents of dying babies in the Intensive Care Nursery.  Suzanne has a contact with a group that already works with CPMC (California Pacific Medical Center) to provide care packages for parents of critically ill children.  

The care packages we are donating will include:
- a single-use camera
- a tiny white handknit baby hat
- a list of resources for after their baby's death
- a page of "Other parents in your position have found these things helpful."  suggestions   (Hospitals often provide booklets about this, but AFTER the fact, when it's too late.)

As might be expected, Erica is knitting the hats.  Each one is made with love and special memories of Baby Paul.  The first delivery Suzanne makes in April, 2006 will contain nine care packages.

The Knitting  

Click here to read the story published in December, 2005.

In early November, 2005, we were honored to speak at Synergy, a nursing conference sponsored by UCSF.  The conference was for high-risk OB nurses and neonatal nurses.  We were part of a panel of bereaved parents.  It was very emotional, but it felt good to give back and be able to help educate nurses from various hospitals about what helps parents whose babies are dying.
More of his legacy...
Paul's Photo Album
January 2004 -- SURPRISE! I'm Pregnant!
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