Saturday, April 04, 2009

Service & Burial

Well, today was Carleigh's last visitation, her service, and then her burial. I was a little unsure of how the day would go but there is no doubt that everything was beautiful. God gave us a nice, sunny day when just the day before it was windy and rainy. I thought that the whole day would be really tough on me but, yet again, I was surprised at my own strength. God's grace and everyone's prayers were truly with us! I had my share of tears but nothing like I had expected.

The visitation was from 10-11 am. We got there around 9:15 am. I set up some of Carleigh's stuff on a table for people to see. I set out her scrapbook (I had gotten a few pages done), her hand and foot imprints, her baby book, her photo album with the maternity and ultrasound pictures, and Carleigh's toy box from my Aunt Becky and Uncle Buck. Everything was lying on the quilt the hospital gave me.

Once I got everything set out I went into the sanctuary of the church and got Carleigh. I held her the entire visitation and service in her fuzzy pink blanket. We had a lot of people come to both the visitation and the service. The service started out with Pastor Mark praying and reading Carleigh's obituary, with a few personal touches. Next, the slideshow was shown and it was just so wonderful! It had pictures from Carleigh's US, my maternity photos, and lots of pictures leading up to her birth to the days after. The pictures were set to the songs I Will Carry You by Selah, Glory Baby by Watermark, and With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman. My Uncle Buck spoke for a little bit and like always it was perfect and so well thought out. Our friend Andy read a poem written by Anthony's Uncle John and then Pastor Mark read a letter written by Anthony's sister Chantel. They both did a very good job. Pastor Mark spoke for a little bit and read Pslam 23 and then the song He Will Carry Me by Mark Schultz was played. The service ended in prayer. Everyone was dismissed by row and came forward to pay their respects. After everyone was through it was time to put Carleigh in her casket. That was hard to do. I took off her white crochet hat and replaced it with the one that went with her burial outfit. It was too big on her but it didn't matter. I took off her little pearl bracelet and her cross necklace. We placed a little heart in her casket. It was given to us by my Uncle Dan and Aunt Lisa and their family. It was a matching bigger heart that Anthony and I keep. I pulled up her blanket Anthony's Grandma made and we gave her lots of kisses. Brian helped us close the casket and we stood there for a few moments before turning around and going outside to wait for her. Anthony's brother Todd and my brother-in-law Jason were pallbearers and they brought Carleigh out and put her in the hearse. (All the while Ashley is taking pictures for us and we had the service videotaped.)

Anthony, me, and Kyndra plus the grandparents rode in the limo behind the hearse to the cemetery. We got there and we waited for Todd and Jason to get Carleigh out of the hearse and take her over to her plot. We followed them and I sat down in one of the chairs with Anthony beside me. My mom was on the other side of me. After everyone had gathered Pastor Mark read some scripture and prayed. Everyone was told they were welcome to return to the church for a dinner. Everyone stuck around for a little bit and people came up to hug us and such. Finally, Anthony and I stood up and went back to the limo and then everyone else started to go back to their cars. I actually could've sat there probably all day. Beside the cemetery there are horses and 2 of the horses came over to the fence and stood there while everyone was there and then when we were leaving they also turned to leave. It was neat to see that.

The dinner was good. There was lots of food (thank you!) and a cake made by Angie from my church (I love her cake!). We had lots of people come back for the dinner. After everyone was pretty much gone we packed everything up and went back home.

What should have been such a sad day for me really didn't feel like that at all. Yes, I cried for my daughter because I miss her and I always will until I see her again but the joy I feel for being blessed with such a special daughter will always overshadow my sadness. Mommy loves you Carleigh!


Sarah (Lovemy918-CM) said...

Your strength truly amazes me. There is no wonder you are doing so well...With Gods grace and Prayers, you have and will continue to make it through..

Melissa A. said...

Your strength is inspiring. I first saw your story a few months back on another site. You and your family will continue to have my thoughts and prayers

Betty said...

You are more than entitled to your share and tears and much, much, more. I can only imagine how hard it was to close that casket. I was thinking of you today...praying for you. I am so glad you were able to feel the effects of all the prayers going up for you today. Thank you once again for sharing your remarkable story. You will be in our prayers...always!

Anonymous said...

Everything was so beautiful Holly. God did provide you with a perfect, and sunny day. I will be thinking of you -as always- and you call me if you need anything. I will see ya soon. Love you...

Anonymous said...

You and your family are amaizing! You give me so much Hope. God Bless you and God Bless Carleigh

The Balduccis said...

I have no words Holly I have said so much already! You are in my prayers!

Andi Soergel said...

I was thinking of you and praying for you today! It sounds like the service was beautiful and just how you wanted it to be. I know that's so important. It feels like it's one of the few things you can do for your baby that you can have the way you want! We will continue praying!
God Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Todays service was beautiful. The messages that evryone spoke of has touch me in ways that I can not express. It made me think about alot, my children grandchildren and parents sisters and brothers and nieces and nephews and so on. But one thing I kept thinking and maybe God was pushin me today is my life with him. And how I should be helping more in my family in that area. I know he was there for me. And as I watch you with Carleigh I sat and thought about my daughter who will give birth soon. I do pray everday that things will go okay for her. But I do know that whatever God haaaas in store for us with this new baby boy I will welcome because when I look at him after he comes into this world. I will think of Carleigh and to hold him with such blessing and joy. And to spend as much time with him as possible. God is truly an amazing God who creates such miracles of the little ones. I am grateful for the journey that you have given me , because of you and Anthony I can see how God really works in lives and through faith and strong love for him he will get you through anything. Thank you again for the love you show me and for letting me spend the time with Carleigh as well as Kyndra today and always. They have a special place in my heart as you do and did when you was little too. My prayers will continue to be with you and if you ever need anything I am here for you all. God bless this wonderful family of yours.
It was a moment in my life that has touch my life in so many ways and I am glad that I was able to be there both days to share and support you.

I Love You Both and Kyndra and CArleigh

Aunt Nancy

Vegemommy said...

Holly, I will never forget you and your journey with Carleigh. I am a NICU nurse and I can assure you that I will never see babies born with a terminal condition the same again. Thanks so much for sharing with me, and all of us. God bless you and your family now and always. Praise God that you will reunite with your precious daughter in heaven! -Heidi

Penny said...

I am so glad that today the sun was shinging! I thought about you and while I drove and felt the sun beaming in the window of the van.

I could never understand your feelings completely, I know when I lost my daughter that as hard as it was, there was beauty. I did see the dark reality that I wouldn't hold my daughter again in this life but God always always, lifed and carried us through.

Many prayers to you as you grieve your loss. Little Carleigh is dancing with the angels......

Anonymous said...

praying for you tonight, tomorrow and in the days to come. you have a beautiful angel.

Anonymous said...

Your account of your daughter's funeral was beautiful, yet poignant. I could feel myself there with you, grieving along with you, too. I have lost a baby girl and I hope my little Meredith helped welcome your sweet Carleigh to Heaven.
God bless you all,

Chelsea Pang said...

I am so sorry for your loss. What a precious daughter of God you have in your baby. I pray for God's continued comfort over your heart. I loved the 'I think I saw a miracle post' too!

Celia said...

That sounds like a completely lovely day. God was truly smiling down on you. To have the weather be perfect, to have the sense of peace, to have so many who came to help you love! It sounds truly amazing. And once again I am amazed at your strength and faith. I can only pray that I will be half of that once Noah comes.

Also, I would love to take you up on that offer for the gift certificate. My husband and I have been talking about that very thing but were unsure on where to go or what to choose. We just know we want to create as many memories and keepsakes as we can along this journey.

Feel free to contact me through the goup and I can give you my info that way.

Again, Holly, your strength astounds and amazes me. I have been and will continue to keep you in my prayers. Your story has truly blessed me & all those that it has been shared with.

Anonymous said...

It was a beautiful service and the cemetery was located in a beautiful spot. It was neat to see the horses there. I cried right along with you when you were putting her in the casket. Carleigh has touched so many and hold a place in many hearts! I know your journey will help a lot of people who face the same situation see their baby as a blessing. Carleigh left a big imprint on this world. Thinking and praying for you and your family. Like I always said I'm here if you need anything and I hope we can see each other again soon!


The Real Katie said...

Just wanted to let you know that I cried with you. I'm sorry for your loss, but I look forward to meeting Carleigh in heaven one day. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

That last Paragraph from sat.4th replays in my mind over and over and I am in just wow of your words and your power to see the miracle in all your heartbrake. YOur super woman & mom in my mind and heart! YOur amazing and so is Carleigh!

Anonymous said...

Like many have said, your strength is just remarkable. I am still thinking of you all every day.

-MichelleDelia (CM)

Laura said...

It sounds like it was a beautiful service. I'm glad it went well.
Your strength is amazing to me, Holly... I couldn't imagine being in your position & carrying through with so much grace.
Much Love & Many Hugs,
Laura (emslala)

becky said...

It was a beautiful servive at the church and she was laid to rest in a gorgeous overlook at the cemetary. What a poignant moment when the horses came running over to the fence, gave out a few neighs to us and then quietly watched the service. It was like nature was paying it's respect to the wonderful little spirit of Carleigh.
Holly,Anthony, & Kyndra
You will always be a family of four. Carleigh's spirit will surround you many times and you will know she is there with you. Yu gave her the opportunity to meet her family and for that everyone is truly grateful and we all have come away inspired to lead a better life.

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