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Sunday, October 4, 2009


The days between our visit with the funeral director and the committal service are kind of a blur to me. I know that we did a lot of crying and said over and over that we didn’t want Wednesday to come. We made a lot of phone calls and sent a lot of emails. Gracie was born in the early morning hours on Saturday, and the sympathy cards started flooding the mailbox on Monday morning. Flowers started arriving shortly thereafter. Wednesday morning arrived so quickly, and the drive to Eagles Mere was the longest drive ever. The day was beautiful, with a clear blue sky and warm sunshine. We went to my father’s for about 45 minutes before going to the cemetery – a pretty lousy avoidance tactic. While we waited and stalled, we sent my father and aunt to the cemetery with our camera and floral arrangements that were delivered our house. Just like the photos after she was born, we knew that we would be sorry in the long run if we did not have a photographic reminder of her last day with us. We waited until the last possible minute to go to the cemetery, and I was stunned by the number of people waiting for us when we got there. There were 35-40 people there, and another 20-25 arrived shortly after we did…60 people in all. All for our little peanut.

Before the service started, we visited briefly with everyone and exchanged many hugs. After much delay, Jeff and I took our seats in front of Gracie’s little casket, and the services began. I have been told that Becky’s words were soothing and moving; I heard her voice, but I did not hear or absorb one word that she said. My brain was busy processing the preceding 5 days and trying to figure out how in the world we went from ‘4 weeks to go’ to buying an infant. After the service, we visited with a few people who had arrived after we took our seats, and of course shared more hugs. Our friend Debbie and her daughter Rylie brought balloons to release for the babies. This was such a simple, but meaningful gesture, and it did so much to bring me up on such a sad day. They also brought a rose that we left with Gracie for a little bit, but ultimately brought home to dry and keep with her other mementos. After everyone cleared out of the cemetery, my father, Jeff’s father and a family friend stayed behind to finish the burial process. My father had dug Gracie’s grave by hand, and insisted that this was all part of his healing process. I found out on the way home that afternoon that he had taken his shirt off and laid it across her casket before any dirt was filled in.

We had planned ahead of time to invite those who attended back to my father’s house for lunch. Before diving into another round of hugs and condolences we went for a drive around the lake to decompress. The day was so beautiful and the lake was so peaceful and calm that it was hard to return to reality. But, to reality we returned. The afternoon was better than the morning – food (even though we weren’t terribly hungry), friends, family and love. We were so thankful for the support of all who joined us to say goodbye to Gracie, especially those who traveled several hours from other states. We could not have done it without you. We love you all.

After leaving my father’s we returned to the cemetery for a little more decompression. We stopped to visit Jeff’s grandmother, who was unable to attend the service and then headed home. God’s comic relief for the day was providing us with a flat tire on the way home. 

Go here to read about the days and weeks after Gracie's funeral.

1 comment:

Holly said...

I'm so glad so many came to support you. Your dad is a really special man.