Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The day after handing her over

We were able to dress Carleigh in her burial outfit the day after handing her over to the funeral home. I was able to get through the night knowing I would be able to see my little girl again the next day. Sure, it was only her body but it was all I had. I was never able to meet her soul outside of my belly.

Anthony and I arrived and took her out of her casket and just spent time with her before dressing her. Her color was lighter than when we saw her last as they had embalmed her. Her face was still darker than the rest of her but I expected that. She felt heavier too and she looked swollen. She looked different but it was still her. I kept a tissue close because when I moved her around a lot embalming fluid would come out of her nose. I just pretended she had a little runny nose.

Anthony's dad and brother arrived a little later than us at the funeral home. Anthony's dad took pictures (his are the better quality ones) and his brother took video. I have to say I enjoyed dressing her. It was only my third time to dress her in something and it would be my last. I had my share of tears and I didn't want to leave her.

Here are some photos of that day of us holding Carleigh and me dressing her. They tell the story.






































19 comments:

J's mommy said...

I'm so sorry you also had to "hand over" your baby! It's so hard. These pics of you dressing her are great! Her braclet is so cute, I love it!!

Rikki said...

She is so beautiful. I love that you gave her the jewelery. I wish that i could have dressed my boys before they went into their casket. The man at the funeral home did it but had to cut all the clothes and just lay them ontop of them because he couldnt get them on.
Leaving them is the worst.
xxx

Once A Mother said...

Oh Holly... the tears and emotion come so easily as I read this post. Partly because today marks one year since my own daughter's funeral, and reading about your time with Carleigh after she passed and seeing that small white coffin brings so much of that back for me. I didn't get this time with Peyton, she was out of my hands once we left the hospital. I am struck by these photos, by the gentle way you handled her, by the tremendous love you have for your little girl. I am so sorry that your Carleigh is not here with you. You are an amazing woman and an amazing mother. The outfit and jewelry you chose for her to be buried in were just beautiful. Missing your sweet Carleigh with you...
(hugs)

Linda said...

Oh Holly, You are so precious! I am so sorry that you have had such trauma and pain in your young life. Thes pictures of you with Carleigh are so very touching.

My heart is so moved by these last moments with Carleigh that you have shared with us.

May God continue to give you strength, comfort and peace.

Love, Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Anonymous said...

Such touching photos, Holly, of your sweet, very much loved and wanted baby.My heart goes out to you. Blessings, Sarita

Franchesca Cox said...

Holly, these pictures bring back so much for me. I am glad you got to dress her. The pictures are just precious. They are so sad, but she looked beautiful. I love the picture of you putting on her bracelet. That one is especially sweet. Thank you for sharing these memories.

Love to the sky

XX

Christy said...

Holly--So very incredibly touching. Only a parent who has buried a child could relate and I hate that I can relate. I hate it. I did not do this. Chase died in the NICU and we got hold him as he passed, but he already was so changed from teh 2 days prior. It all hurt so bad. I usually don't let my thoughts go to that part because it bothers me so much. But, god, you look like such a natural, such a good mom in those pictures. You were, are and will be a fantastic mother. So loving, so gentle, so caring. And I admire your bravery. In caring for Carleigh as much as you did. It was more than I could do and looking at your pictures, I wonder now if I could have done what you so graciously did for her. What a sweet, sweet baby. Missing her with you.....
Christy

Just Breathe said...

I'm so glad you have those photos.
Her outfit was beautiful and the shoes looked so cute. I am sure that spending time with her and dressing her are memories you will cherish. I'm so sorry. ((HUGS))

croleyc69 said...

So very beautiful & very touching. My heart breaks for you so much and I wish you never had to walk that road. I can see the love & beauty in the pictures. You are a amazing mother. I pray for you and your family everyday. I'm so glad you have so many pictures. {{HUGS}}
Caroline

EMILY G. said...

I don't think I have cried this hard in quite a while! Thank you for sharing your beautiful little girl with us! I always love reading about her and your family!

Jennifer Ross said...

Those pictures were so hard to look at. It's real life. So many people just don't know what "real life" is. You dressed her so beautifully. I love the little bracelets. You're a wonderful mommy Holly.

Lauren said...

Thanks for sharing all those pictures. I have tears running down my face...

Hugs,
Lauren

Kari @ p.s. love.love. said...

Oh my goodness, tears are falling. Holly, you are such a strong lady. I know mom's have the ability to be so when needed. The cross necklace. The bracelet. The bonnet. My heart goes out to you and your family. Beautiful photos.

Once A Mother said...

I know I already commented on this post, but I felt the need to revisit it, these photos have stayed with me all day. It really affected me. Thinking of you as you remember those last moments with Carleigh in your arms.

Lea said...

And a beautiful story they tell. So delicate and pure. Those photos are stunning and such true treasures...
The little pearl bracelet was a precious touch. She is so loved, Holly.

Emily said...

You are such a good mommy! It breaks my heart to see you caring so well for her. So unfair! We try o take comfort knowing we'll see them again in heaven, but sometimes.....it's still hard. Sending you a giant {{hug)). Thank you for sharing pictures of your beautiful little girl!

Stacy D said...

Carleigh is so precious, Holly. I remember that moment with Isaac... Of handing him over. It was by far the worst pain of my life. It is so hard. Thank you for sharing these pictures of your beautiful baby girl. I am still praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Holly, my heart breaks for you again looking at these pictures. I can see the love and gentleness even in the pictures. Carleigh was so blessed to have you for her Mommy. Dawn (bakersd79 from CM)

Mary Ellen said...

How touching these images are. They truly to tell a story. One of a mother that is so in love with a child and it is truly beautiful. Thank you for being so brave to share these. Your strength has been so healing for me in my own grief. I have grown so mucg just reading your post. I am able to talk about my babies so much more than I ever have before. Thank you but I am so wish I could hav gotten to know you under different conditions.

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