14 November 2010

7 Months

14th April - 14th November

Remembering you today and loving you always...

03 November 2010

Our Final Farewell

This post has been a while in the making... simply because it is painful. The burial service for me was the turning point in my grief - I was suddenly ripped out of my world of shock and disbelief and thrown into a world of intense heartache and pain.

"The funeral brings with it the reality that after today you can no longer see your baby. Up until the funeral you are able to go to the funeral home or [the hospital] - either way the funeral brings with it a finality that is hard to endure."
Grief and Grace, A. Axelby

April 27, 2010

At the conclusion of the memorial service, I quickly made my way to the safety of the funeral car. This was not the time for conversation. All I could think about was what lay ahead. I waited anxiously for the car to leave the church as people milled around. Grant and I sat in the back seat with the little white coffin resting between us. I placed my hand on the top, feeling a deep connection with it. Finally, the car moved and I felt as though I could breathe again. I shifted my concentration back to where I needed it to be.

We arrived at the cemetery early and waited in the car. I appreciated this time of quietness. I watched as people arrived and walked over to the burial site.

As time passed we began to question where our pastor, the leader of the service was. Thank you Lord for mobile phones! Our pastor's car had broken down. Help was on its way, but it was going to take more time than we had. Our calm and wonderful funeral director made some quick phone calls and our service was delayed so that another little baby's funeral could begin on time. Our friends and family made their way over to the cafe to wait. Anxious about the delay, not wanting anyone to leave, I was comforted by the fact that no one else appeared concerned by it. We went for a short drive and spent some time at my Grandad's grave.

Time to return... We watched as people from the previous funeral quickly left. I felt sad that they had to leave in such a hurry.

The five of us throw rose petals into the empty grave, desiring to soften the hard reality of what we were about to do for the children's sake. I sit down next to my Nana, as our friends and family stand around us. Little did I know, that within a few months I would be attending Nana's funeral.
I don't remember much of what was said during the service, I just remember staring at the little white coffin. Slowly and carefully Charlotte's daddy and uncle prepare the coffin for burial. This moment will be forever etched into my memory. I watch her go... the final rip in this unnatural separation. Oh my baby girl...

"Seeing the basket containing our daughter disappear through the doorway was worse than the agony of searing pain. As the door closed there was nothing but the void where she should have been."
The Shaming of the Strong, S. Williams

We stand and release five pink helium balloons and as we watch them float away, I hear one of the children say, "They're going up to Charlotte!" What faith they have! Our friend closes in prayer and his words touch my heart, this is an eternal moment.

This day is such a paradox, a crazy mixture of grief and hope. With broken hearts, we commit our baby's body to the ground knowing that on the other side of the veil - she is alive and whole, safe in her eternal home.

"... although I knew she had left me to be with God, that did not insulate me from the deep heart-rendering wave of human sorrow." The Shaming of the Strong, S. Williams

The service delay meant that we had time to talk to the people who came to support us. Funerals are confronting and painful, a child's funeral particularly so. We were so grateful to those who came to share in our pain. This journey of grief had been very lonely and isolating - we were now ready share our story and our pain.

"It is a melancholy path we tread to lay a precious one in the dust and sadly turn for home, feeling we have left them behind. But there comes a joy in knowing it is really they who have gone on home and it is we who are left behind..." Author Unknown
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