Today started out pretty rough..I couldn't even talk because nothing would come out but sobs and incoherent words. I really didn't know how I was going to get through her service in one piece. I had thoughts of grabbing her out of her casket and running off with her. I wonder how long it would have taken before someone tackled me...I really wasn't sure how to even handle seeing everyone since it was not exactly for a joyous occasion. We simply got ready this morning without saying much to each other and headed on our way to Ringgold.
We had to drop the kids off at my aunt and uncle's house before the service because we decided not to take them with us. Carley is really having a hard time with all of this so we didn't think that it would be a good idea to bring her into a room with even more sadness..Parker would have just caused too much of a distraction because he can't sit still for very long. The first person I saw this morning was my uncle...he hugged me and we cried a little bit together. I usually try to keep my self from crying in front of people, but this was just not possible today..I went inside to take the kids in to get them settled, and had to face the rest of my family that I had not seen yet. It is just so hard seeing people that you love crying for you..
We went to the small church in Ringgold (the church my mom and dad got married in actually), and on the way I prayed for strength to get through this day. I walked in the door and had to go and see my beautiful baby girl in her casket. The flowers that they put on top of her from us were perfect...a beautiful spray of red tulips..my favorite as well as a perfect flower for Aubree. A red tulip means true love...There were several other arrangements from people we know or from people that know of us..it was so nice of them to send flowers for my little girl. I cried just seeing the casket and seeing the Baby Be Blessed with her name on it. My mom got her a beautiful pink lamb from them that has the scripture verse Matthew 19:14 on it ("Let the little children come to me..the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."). My mom is planning on getting me one just like it to keep for myself. Her little lamb was placed in her casket after the service along with her mother and child angel from my sister and Jeff, and then a beautiful pink cross with her initials on it that Dan made for her..Mike's mom made her a beautiful pillow for her to lay on with a butterfly for Aubree, four red hearts (one for each of my family), and four white hearts (one for each of the grandparents). It is really nice that everyone wanted to include something from them in her casket. I of course gave her the blanket we made for her.
The service went very smoothly and was beautiful in every way. Pastor Brad did a beautiful job of making it something we will always remember. We did use the two songs I have mentioned in previous posts.."I Will Carry You" is probably the most beautiful and most difficult song to listen to. It is honestly perfect in every way though because it says everything I could ever say to my child..There were a lot of tears through that song from everyone. I honestly felt sick to my stomach the entire service. I even thought I might throw up at one point. I am not someone who has a weak stomach either..it was just that hard to handle. We did do something differently for her then what most people do because it was such a small group of people. When we had her committed in the church we had everyone lay a hand on her casket. It is customary that only the pastor does this, but I wanted everyone there to play a role since everyone there plays a huge role in our lives and in her life. After the service was over Mike and I spent some quiet time with her, and we told her how much we loved her. I was in a bad place at that point because I couldn't leave her..everyone just kept telling me it was just her body..she was gone. I know that, but I still wanted to pick her up and love her the way that I should be right now. The only complaint that I have is that her name was spelled wrong in the bulletin...not everything can be perfect I guess..
We went over to my aunt and uncle's house to have some lunch with the family. It was a nice distraction. I spent some time visiting with everyone, and I shared the beautiful pictures that we have of her thanks to NILMDTS. We got them rushed to us yesterday...so beautiful. I am carrying them around with me to show to anyone who wishes to see her. I know some people aren't comfortable seeing her, but she is my daughter, and I am just as proud of her as I am of my other two. We spent the day just sitting around and talking. It was pretty relaxing. I wasn't sure we were going to stay all day, but being at home alone wasn't really going to benefit us in any way I don't think.
Mike and I decided to go see her grave before we left. We weren't there for her burial because of the weather, but we wanted to see her before we left. As we walked out to her grave it reminded me of how wrong this way...My grandfather bought that plot years ago with every intention of his burial or my grandmother's being first and we would surround him..Aubree actually got the best plot...She sure does have a great "view", but she should not have been the first one buried. As I stood next to her grave I promised her that I would be by her side some day...As morbid as it is to think about it is really nice knowing where Mike and I will buried once we are gone. I don't really care just as long as I am with my daughter..Her tulips were placed on top of the ground and by the time we got there they were covered in snow..it was so beautiful in so many ways and so sad in so many other ways..Even her tulips were going to die quickly..
I am feeling at peace in that the physical part of this whole ordeal is over..now comes the hard part though..the emotional part. I know our grieving has just begun, and I know that there are going to be some really rough days ahead, but I also know that God is going to guide us through this journey..he is going to make us a much stronger couple and family in the long run. Losing my daughter has taught me so many things, but the most important lesson we have learned is to never take anyone for granted...love every day you have with those you love and love them fiercely. I used to be so afraid of death...now I am jealous of whoever gets to meet her first..it is so strange how quickly we have grown up, and how such a small baby could teach us so much...
Did anyone notice that it snowed today??? God and Aubree were giving me the peace that I needed today in the gift of snow since they know how I feel about it..That alone made me smile..
We are listing these two sites that people can donate to in order to honor Aubree: