21 September 2010

Our Tribute to You - Part 1

Charlotte's Memorial Service
Tuesday 27th April 2010

I walked this day in absolute disbelief, completely wrapped in a blanket of shock. The thought of burying my baby today was literally too much for my mind to comprehend. My heart was aching but my mind had shut down.

"During the first week of loss, the bereaved walk around behind some invisible shield, His shield, which is like a blind coming between us and the most painful part to come; we are numb and protected from the truths hitting us all at once. I believe this is God's grace that He gives us so that we cope during the first shock of our news. He doesn't ever take His grace away, but there does come a time when the blind is opened, and the flooding light that comes back in rushes upon your senses with the awful clarity of raw truth."
Grief and Grace - A. Axelby

We arrived at the church early and waited with our family in a side room.
I was feeling hurried and tense. After a little while, the funeral director gently averted my attention to the little white coffin waiting in the corner of the room. Surprise and shock overwhelmed me, the casket was so small.... so final. As everyone left the room, we held her and gently placed a tiny chain with a broken heart pendant around her neck.
On it, we had engraved the word 'Mummy'. I wear the other half.
A precious, unforgettable time...

We waited at the entrance to the main hall... the tiny casket in Grant's arms, the children holding my hands.... the music starts (We Dreamed of You). I know that there are many people there but I can not bring myself to look at anyone. How do I respond? At the front of the church there is a beautiful arrangement of pink and white flowers. In front of these, we placed the tiny casket and lit six candles, one for each member of our family -  symbolising that Charlotte would always be our fourth born child, our daughter - forever a part of us and our family.


OhlsonFamily said...

Julie, the necklace that you share with Charlotte is such a beautiful idea!! The memory of placing 'mummy' around her tiny neck as you saw her for one last time must be so firmly etched in your mind. I was really touched by the image of Grant carrying the casket with you and the children following closely behind. What a heartbreakingly difficult thing but such an important time to say good bye and honour her life and forever presence in your family. Time is passing but the memory and feelings are still so fresh and real ... thank you for sharing them ... you know that I am still aching with you. Still loving you! xoxo

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