Today was a beautiful day that turned out so good for my sweet Elizabeth. We started the day off by leaving at 7:45am to head to the funeral home. We were heading down early to have time to dress our sweet baby in her beautiful dressing gown. As we arrived both sets of our parents were also there to help put up all of Elizabeth's items and I had invited both grandma's to be part of dressing their beautiful granddaughter. I had Jake go in first to see her because I was nervous that she wouldn't look like my beautiful daughter and I wanted to be prepared for how she looked. So my Rock Jake went in and took a look, he came out and said she looked great and asked if I was ready to go in.
As I entered I was engulfed in the beautiful sweet spirit that resided in the room with my baby daughter's tiny body. As I approached and took a look, I was so relieved to see that she still looked like my baby. She was beautiful and I couldn't help but smile. I was so happy to be with my baby again that I couldn't help but smile. I knew it was going to be a hard and long day but with her close I could make it through. I mentioned at this time that I forgot her little booties that went with the gown. The amazing funeral director helping us said he would run out and get some. At the time I didn't even think about the fact that it was 8:30 am on a Saturday and no stores were open but he found one and brought back some beautiful white booties.
I then dressed my Elizabeth in her beautiful white blessing gown that would wrap love around her. I already talked about the blessing gown we chose. Jake's mom bought a beautiful small white blanket that we wrapped her in also and then we had her bracelet that would link us together. I have a necklace very similar to her bracelet so that I can always remember her (thanks to my mom for picking out such beautiful pieces of jewelry). We reverently dressed her and spent the next hour just being with her and in our own way preparing to say our last goodbyes. It was so special to have her grandparents there too. As we neared the time of the viewing we lifted her off the table and held her for a moment and gave her kisses and laid her reverently into the casket. She looked so beautiful in her white gown and her hair bow. We had two little white bears bought for Michael and Addison to give to Elizabeth, then we had four bigger white bears for each one of us that looked like hers. The bears were for us to hold and sleep with when we needed to feel close to Elizabeth and to always remember her and the bears she had next to her. The kids were so cute and kept asking when they got to give the bears to Elizabeth.
As many of our dear friends and family came to say their respects and to show their support for us we managed to stand tall and strong. I don't know to this day how I was able to stand there but I know that it wasn't my strength I was using at that time. I was very overwhelmed by the incredible support we received at the viewing. We had the viewing from 9:30am-11am. At 11am we cleared the room and only had are immediate family stay. We had Elizabeth's great grandpa Rudd give the family prayer, it was so beautiful and spoke to our hearts. After the prayer we let the family say their last goodbye and then We had the kids give the bears to Elizabeth. Then Jake and myself tucked her in and held her and cried and whispered to her our goodbyes. They then closed the casket. I felt my heart break and a big piece was closed into that casket with her. Jake's dad and my dad carried her tiny casket into the room where the funeral services were being held. It was so hard to watch her tiny casket being carried and to walk into the room filled with loved ones and to try to keep some composure as we entered behind her.
The room was also filled with a reverent sweet spirit as we began her beautiful service. We had a beautiful service and every single person who was involved in the program did such an amazing job and kept the spirit strong.
After the beautiful funeral services we then had to exit and head to the graveside. Where we had a small little program. We then let our family write a message and tie it to a balloon and we then released the balloons all at once. It was beautiful to see the balloons ride high in the sky. The weather was perfect it was a little windy to help the balloons. Our families slowly left and Jake and I spent a few minutes alone with Elizabeth again. Neither of us wanted to leave her but knew she needed to move forward just like we needed to too. So we finally left to meet our family for a thanksgiving meal. My dad said we were having a thanksgiving style meal because we were so thankful to have Elizabeth in our family, I thought it was beautiful to end with such a thought to a hard but incredible day.