Friday, February 11, 2011

Afterwards

Lily's last night
Our day was beautiful. Despite the circumstances it is so gratifying and healing to have so many people take time to come see us and Lily and say goodbye. I was proud of Lily. That's still my baby there. She matters so much to me but how wonderful to know she mattered to others too.
We loved the atmosphere of Lily's viewing. We chose to have it at Larkin funeral home downtown and they had the most wonderful little setting for us. Instead of one big long room we were in a beautiful little collection of homey rooms with couches and tables and stained glass windows and dark wood and of course flowers and pictures and soft light. Lily was in her dear tiny white casket in front of the fireplace. She wore her beautiful white lace dress made by grandma, (that matches the dresses the girls wore in my header--Lily's dress wasn't ready for the pictures but thank goodness I felt prompted not to put it off.)
The day before we went to the craft store and Ella picked out stickers to make a card for Lily--Mickey, frogs, elephants, flowers. The card along with her mouse, a soft blue blanket she used every day, her special necklace and a pink handkerchief made by Aunt Stephanie was with her.
My Lilies for Lily craft was successful! It turned out so cute that even Zar admitted he was glad I put it together. We loved seeing so many friends and relatives (I got lots of compliments on my facial) and it was comforting to know so many people who never met Lily still felt close to her through my blog.
Closing the casket was the worst moment in an otherwise special and quietly joyful day. Just that feeling of finality. Folding her blanket around her, touching her cold little hand for the last time. It was tempered somehow by seeing her dad carry her little casket by himself to the car. It just seemed sweet to this mother's heart.
Zar and I said a few words at the graveside. So strange to be at that same spot again. The day was so similar--bright and warm for February. Balloons all around. Pink flowers. The same white teddy bear was waiting for me on a chair.
This is what I said--or what I tried to say:
Throughout Lily' short life I found myself so often looking over her sweet little body, and thinking how dear she was. She had especially dear little feet. They were perfect. At times I thought to myself that her feet were foretelling of what she would do in this life--crawl, maybe even walk. They were just so suited to life on earth.
As it became clear the last few days that Lily wasn't going to stay, I remember holding her feet in my hands and thinking "What a waste." It seemed so wasteful that she would have been given such wonderful feet that she would never use. And then this morning as I was getting ready the thought came to me that it wasn't a waste. She would use those feet. She would walk and run and dance. The parts of her body that were not perfect would be made perfect, and her feet were a foreshadowing of what her body would one day be able to do. Just not in this lifetime.
When we chose Lily's name it was to remind us that Lily was in God's hands and He would care for her, just as He clothes the lilies of the field. Again, this morning I was enjoying all the beautiful flowers--especially the Lilies we have received, and I thought that Heavenly Father doesn't let the lilies stay long on earth, but that doesn't make them any less special. In fact in some ways it makes them more special. He lets them bloom on earth for a short time and their beauty is not wasted. Lily's life was not wasted. Lily was worth it.
I will miss you Lily, and I am so glad you came to our family. I am so glad you are with your sister, and that we have Ella and Ava. None of us are left alone. For now your dad and I will stay here with your sisters, but there will come a day when most likely we will be with you and your sister, and Ella and Ava will be here on earth together without us. But someday we will all be together again. It will come full circle. It will all be all right in the end.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Such eloquent words - your wisdom runs deep and I thank you for sharing. Prayers continue to pour forth as you live each day.

Dannette

kristen said...

Everything was so beautiful, your words are always so powerful. Let's set up a double date next week. Love you lots!

katherine said...

simply beautiful in every way. thank you for sharing all of this with all of us. love you.

Heather said...

What beautiful, moving words. I've been thinking about you and your family today. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and for sharing Lily's precious life with us.

Anonymous said...

It was a very tender, sweet day, filled with love. We were privileged to share it with you.

xoxoCarolyn H.

Anonymous said...

Erin,

You are AMAZING!

Kristie

Susan said...

Your ability to invite and include others to share in your beautiful life and thoughts has been such a blessing to me. Thank you for letting me be a part of that tender, sweet day and your beautiful family.
I loved making a lily!
Love to you all~ Susie

Shannon said...

The day was just beautiful. You and Zar did such a great job with your tributes to Lily, and as always I sat back and marveled at your grace and inner strengh. Love you.

We have Angel Wings said...

You are an amazing woman, Erin. The strength and the courage you have always amazes me.

I think about you and your family every day and I wish I was there to comfort you.

Please know you're being held tight in my thoughts and I'm holding you close to my heart. ♥

Tarah

Sandita said...

Awwwww....bless you, bless you and your sweet family for uplifting people's lives around the world with your faith and hope and love!! We have a very sweet grandson who was not suppose to live through infancy. He is now 2 years old and blesses our lives with the soul of a saint!!! You will enjoy seeing just the adorable picture on his blog homepage if you find the time.....you won't be sorry!!!
Our.Son.Kai It's @ blogspot....I hope that gets you there...I'm not very techno savy!!

Nicole said...

So sorry for your loss. You have an incredible family filled with such sweet spirits. Your words and thoughts are so moving. My prayers are with you. Thank you for breathing strength in all of us. You are amazing. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

Nicole McGee Mery

Courtney said...

I have been blog-following your family since I came across kidz and just reading about your dear little Lily made it almost seem like I could feel her sweet little spirit. Never having met you or your daughter, I hurt for your loss, but feel incredible hope and joy at the thought of your reunion. All my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Thank you, thank you for having the courage to share your awesome example of faith.

Becky said...

Beautiful...with many tears.

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

I love Lily's name. I love what it means. I love that He gave her perfect feet that will now run and dance.

But, for you...for your mama heart, aching with the missing and the broken...I pray for His constant comfort. For you and your sweet family...that His arms will comfort you as they carry you.

Please know that this brief time I have come to know a little of your precious daughters on this blog, I have been blessed beyond words. Thank you for that.