23 August 2010

Because of Her...

I'm home, living in limbo between our baby's birth/death and her funeral. I am still in shock and living in a dream world. When will I wake up?

"I wandered around the house aimlessly. My arms were the biggest problem. They should have been holding something, but instead they hung like clumsy redundant objects at my side. They should have been pushing a buggy, but my hands were empty. I kept folding my arms across my chest and stuffing my hands inside my sleeves. In the end I had to resort to hugging a hot-water bottle and rocking myself on the sofa. No one had told me how physical the pain of losing a baby would
be."  The Shaming of the Strong - Sarah Williams

I am physically and emotionally exhausted. The after-effects of the pregnancy are taking its toll on me. All I want to do is stay in bed, alone with my thoughts. I need everything to just stop for a while... but time does not slow down for me and there are arrangements that need to be made - so many details to organise - bible readings, songs, order of service, a speaker, the cemetery etc, etc.

"We must choose a burial plot in the local cemetery. As I sit waiting....
I am totally bewildered by the normality of everything that is going on
around me: people going about their daily business. Don't they know
what has happened? Don't they know that these are not normal times?"
Ciara's Gift - Una Glennon

"Many grieving parents speak of a wish for time to stand still, a desire to be suspended in time, because the pain of moving from here is too hard."
Grace and Grief - A. Axelby

As my pregnancy progressed, God gently revealed to me that I 'was' going to loose my baby. As this realisation gradually unfolded, I began the undesirable task of writing down some ideas for the funeral, so that when I arrived home from hospital, I already had a foundation to work from. For days, I sat on my bed and wrote, while Grant made all the necessary phone-calls.

Flowers and cards began to arrive and these were a great comfort to us, as people finally began to hear about what we had been through over the past 4.5 months.

I had so many things that I wanted to communicate through Charlotte's funeral. Firstly, I wanted people to know how much she was loved, even though she hadn't physically lived with us. Secondly, I wanted to communicate know how much we desired to have a fourth child - she was truly wanted. Thirdly, I wanted her memorial service to be beautiful - to honour her life and make her known -  she was real, she was our daughter,she was our child. Lastly, but certainly not least, I wanted to honour God as the Creator of her life. God had ordained the number of her days from the beginning of time. Everything was as it was meant to be.

As I began to work on the details of the funeral, my mental energy grew. I poured everything I had into the day that would be dedicated to my girl. Because this day was for Charlotte and about her, it gave me the time that I needed to concentrate just on her. As long as all my focus was on her, I was able to carry on with the task of organising my baby's funeral.


OhlsonFamily said...

Empty arms. That really 'hit' me, I hadn't really thought of it before ... so tough. I'm thankful for the way God gently prepared your heart for her going and how you were able to start to think about honouring her life before the shock of the reality hit. Although I wasn't physically there for Charlotte's funeral I saw your four goals communicated and through your expressions of love for her and for her creator my love for Charlotte became a little more real. Thanks for sharing the day with me as you did. I hope you will always find ways to carve out 'Charlotte time' into your days.

Alison said...

Jules, the funeral really was a very special tribute to precious Chatlotte. You continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

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