Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Evelynn's Funeral -April 28, 2012

This should have been the day that I went in for my scheduled c-section and would finally get to hold my baby girl in my arms. Instead this day turned into the day of her funeral. 
Even though this is not something any parent wants to do for there baby I knew I needed to give her the best funeral I could, with lots and lots of pink just for her. I am so glad that we did her funeral in Alaska. So many of our friends came to the hospital to meet her and even more came to the funeral. She sure has a lot of people that love her and will always miss her.

We had her dressed in pink tights with a pink onesie under a white dress with flowers on it. I also put a pink headband on her that looked great with her gorgeous head of hair.
The necklace below we got from the hospital. It has become my remembrance necklace for her. We placed hers on her neck for the funeral and she is buried with it as well. I have the larger heart that I also wore at her funeral, and burial, and will have to always remember her by. I love knowing she will always have hers with her and mine with me.
As we did with Liam we included some items in her casket for her to have. This included a bunch of pictures for her of me and Dereck, Liam, the dogs, friends, and Alaska. I also included this rabbit doll(below) that I got from my mom when I was child and had really wanted my daughter to have. 
Evelynn's beautiful flowers

This frame below was one of the two we had out filled with her pictures. The other was of all of her NILMDTS photos.

I read the quote/saying below. I read it often after Liam passed because I always had hoped that this is how it would be with Liam and now I hope the same for Evelynn.

"They say that heaven is compared to 'the blink of an eye' for us on this earth.  Sometimes it helps me to think of my child running ahead of me through a beautiful field of wildflowers and butterflies; so completely caught up in what she is doing that when she looks behind her, I'll already be there."
Author unknown

Dereck's Grandma also spoke at her funeral. She spoke about the very first funeral she went to as a child and how much she loved it. After that funeral she had asked her mother about when they would be going to another one. Her mother asked her why she would want to go to another funeral. His Grandmas response was that she had never seen more people come together and show so much love for one another as she did that day at her very first funeral.
I loved what she said and I think it impacted everyone who was at Evelynn's funeral. I never thought about a funeral that way before, but I do now, because it is true. Some of our family flew up to come, close friends and other acquaintances, coworkers, people from my grief group, they were all there.
We have only gone to church a few times since living in Alaska. We had met with the Father once after Liam had passed and tried to attend Church more often, but it was just too hard for us to attend since there seemed to be babies everywhere. Now over a year later the Father was there for us at the hospital to baptize our baby girl and was willing to do her funeral for us. None of the members of the congregation knew us but came and provided food and beverages. The entire church choir came for her funeral as well. The Father said that in his entire time being at this church that this was the first time the entire choir ever came to a funeral.

I think that's "the feeling the love at funeral's" thing Dereck's grandma was talking about. There was definitely a lot of love there.

We included this poem in Evelynn's funeral handout:

Oh Mother, My Mother
I touch your tears,
invisible fingers soothing your skin
I know you think of me so often
in the day, in the night, in your dreams
going into an empty nursery
knowing I'll never be there
but I am...in your heart, in your soul,
I shall always be
for you gave so unselfishly of yourself
Inside of you, you created
such a world for me
a world of laughter, of love
of sadness, of sorrow
every emotion people come to know
you shared with me.
And even though I may never feel your arms around me
I felt your heart beating,
like a lullaby, singing me to sleep.
and your spirit giving me a safe haven
already protecting me, nurturing me
preparing me for things to come
But sometimes the journey of life pulls souls apart
and yes, I had to go on to another place.
I wish I could stay
I wish this was a decision I could make
and I know you do too.
Know this, wherever you are:
I will always remember
that yours was the first love
the first joy, the first soul
I will ever know
you gave me the courage to
go on in my journey
I hope I can do the same for you
Your heart beat will always call me to you.

Love, your child

By Theresa Cochrane

When we got to the church the morning of the funeral there was only one other person there and yet there was already a card in the box that was set out for cards. After the funeral that evening we went home and opened and read all the cards. I opened that "first" card last. The envelope and card were quite thick and when I opened it there was a $1000 cash and this letter. I bawled me eyes out when I saw this and just kept saying, "who does this sort of thing for someone they've never met"? 

I hope one day I will have the chance to "pay it forward" as well.
This also got posted on my Facebook page after the funeral and thought I'd share it as well:
"Today I experienced grief, compassion and love expressed freely and openly among friends who are more accustomed to gathering around a campfire than a church. Witnessed the love and strength of a couple who have experienced the tragedy every parent fears not once, but twice in the last year. I pray for their healing." —from a friend

Overall, I think it was as perfect of a day as it could be for my perfect little girl.


  1. I am fighting back tears. How beautiful....my thoughts are with you.

  2. This whole post moves me to tears! That letter with the money is just something so awesome and just renews my faith in humanity!

  3. It sounds like you guys had a very sweet funeral for your baby girl. I can't even imagine going through this type of loss twice. Just the one time has about done me in.

    Thank you for continuing to inspire me.

  4. Omg, Becky. I'm bawling my eyes out. I'm so sorry this happened to E. The lady that gave that check and note--wow. How special. I'm so glad so many people got to pay respects to your beautiful girl.

  5. All I have are tears. I am so sorry for the loss of Liam and Evelynn. They are beautiful.

  6. You did such a beautiful job for your sweet girl, thank you for sharing so many special pictures. I love that you put photos and your doll in her casket, we also put photos and things with our girls and it's such a special thing to do for our children. Your such an inspiration Becky, my thoughts are with you :)

  7. That's incredible. What a wonderful act of kindness. And to know that we'll be missing these babies our entire lives. I'm so sorry about those bills coming in and missing Liam and Evelynn. It's truly terrible.

    Your funeral was beautiful and I think what you buried your babies with is just so amazing. I love that they both have pieces of you with them always. And that necklace is amazing.

  8. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is heart breaking, especially when it is a child, your child. I've never experienced this personally, but I have a very close friend who has also lost both of her children. Ironically, her son's name was also Liam and her daughter, Mila. She was so devastated when it happened, but pulled out the works for their funeral- which I called a Farewell; it was too painful to think of it as actually saying Good Bye. She very similarly buried Liam & Mila with teddy bears and letters, and was recluse for quite some time. She was and still is a wreck to this day, but sometimes I see her smile through all of her pain and I admire her so much for that. I know the pain will stop for you soon too.. I've added a little sentimental poem that she used on her funeral programs, I still have mine hanging in my room. I hope this story gives you and Dereck a little encouragement, I hope you find some peace in it's words as well. God bless you

    Mommy and Daddy I just wanted to say,

    I am sorry I had to leave this way,

    God told me something I want you to hear,

    He said “my tiny Angel I need you near.”

    I saw your tears and watched you cry,

    I even heard you ask “God why?”

    Family and friends couldn’t wait for me to come play,

    Tell them “We will all fly together one day.”

    As much as you wanted me to be with you,

    God had this need for a tiny angel too,

    So I accepted my wings and started to fly,

    Now I live in God’s heavenly sky,

    Mommy and Daddy I just wanted to say,

    I hope you understand why I left this way…

  9. This post brought tears to my eyes. She is so beautiful in all her pics. It was wonderful for you to have so much love and support and the kindess of strangers is sometimes what gets us through the most. I am thinking of you.xoxox

  10. I wish I had the words to express how sorry I am. Your post is absolutely beautiful. And the kindness of one stranger & the impact they can have on our lives is amazing! My thoughts & prayers are with you.

  11. Such an amazingly beautiful post and funeral for a precious girl. Thank you for sharing the quotes and poems ...

  12. I have been feeling very disappointed in much of humanity these days with all the hurt and unkindness in the world...... Thank you for sharing the amazing kindness someone showed you and restoring some of my faith in people and good in our world. I hope you use the money as needed for your surrogate or gestational carrier (i can't remember the correct term)
    I think of you often and pray for you and your husband and babies.... The ones in heaven and the ones I know are meant to be yours on earth in the future. I know my words can't ease your sorrow, but your pain has helped me to be a better mother to my little girl and to cherish sticky fingers and spilled milk.

  13. Baby Evelyn has touched more lives in her short life than most of us during an entire life time.

  14. The funeral looks like it was really beautiful. Certainly not the way that day should have gone, but amazing that you were able to share her the way you did. I love all the things you gave her, especially that bunny. So much love for that beautiful little girl all dressed in pink.

    That letter and money took my breath away. I can hardly imagine what things will be like 30+ years down the road. What an amazing way to pay it forward.

    Thanks for sharing this day with all of us. You did such a beautiful job honoring your girl <3

  15. Oh my word Becky, my heart is aching so badly for you! I haven't blogged or checked blogs in a long time, so I was just catching up!
    I have no words, I just don't even know what to say!
    I am SO SO SO sorry for all your pain and loss!
    My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you!

  16. You put together such a loving funeral for Evelynn. I am really happy that the anonymous stranger was able to pay it forward to you, how nice of her.

    Thank you for sharing Evelynn's pictures and details of her ceremony. We all love her lots and think of her all the time. And you too, always you too.

  17. This post also moved me to tears, I am amazed by your strength and courage, the funeral sounds truly beautiful. And that someone should leave you that beautiful note and money? That is truly one of the most amazing things i have heard of someone doing.

  18. What an amazing and wonderful gift and letter from the anonymous person. You did a beautiful job paying tribute to your beautiful girl.

  19. Such a beautiful day for your gorgeous girl... love to you all xoxo

  20. I'm in tears this morning reading your post about Evelynn's funeral and about the kindness of a stranger. There are good people in this world, i've learned that as well this past year since my Liam died. At times it's the people whom i've never met who have touched my life in more meaningful ways than those who are closest to me. I'm so glad that you have good people around you Becky. I think about you and your Liam and Evelynn a lot. xx

  21. Your post brought tears to my eyes. It was a perfect funeral for Evelynn (it is horrible to even right that). I hadn't thought of a funeral that way before either, of there being so much love in the room. I don't think I will ever look at one the same way again. And that envelope with the money. How amazing. I love the items that you chose to bury her with. Giving her your doll touched me so much.

    Thinking of you, Dereck, Liam and Evelynn everyday.

  22. Oh my God, Becky. I postponed reading this post until I could read it alone and give you and Evelynn the attention you deserve. I am now crying ugly tears, and am just so sad that Evelynn isn't here with you now; that you had to have a second funeral for a beloved baby, and for the kindness and sweetness of others, both in your life, and anonymous. That $1000 gift was so incredibly sweet and touching, and so unexpected!!
    We have never met, but I follow your blog regularly, and I think of you and Liam and Evelynn ALL THE TIME. You are never far from my thoughts, and I am really hoping hoping hoping that your journey with your gestational carrier goes well and you can have a sweet baby in your arms soon. I have a story I would love to share with you regarding "spirit babies" that has provided me with great comfort, and I think it might do the same for you. If you want, send me your email to brookemila@hotmail.com, and I will send it to you.
    I am so glad that you are surrounded with so much love and support.


  23. I read this in tears. Sad day, beautiful girl who has beautiful parents that will always love her

  24. That is such an amazing story about the card & the money -- it kind of restores your faith in humanity. : )

    By the way, my mom's family is from NW Minnesota, near the ND border -- I spent a lot of summer vacation time there with my grandparents, growing up, & every time you write about it I get this feeling of "home." : )

  25. That letter and the money... wow. That's incredible. I'm so glad you were the recipients of "paying it forward"- I can think of no one more deserving than you.

    Evelynn's funeral was beautiful. You mothered her with ever fibre of your being, and it shows.

    We have one of the necklaces too. They're beautiful.

  26. Wow. I don't have many words--just tears, prayers and love. Thinking of you today and everyday.


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