We stopped at the funeral home on the way through Maine. I was hoping to be able to get her dressed for her funeral, but wasn't sure if it had been too long (that maybe seeing her again would be a bad idea) I wanted to be mindful of what my last vision of her would be.
I am SO glad that we are using Autumn Green Funeral Home. Tammy (the owner) has made this difficult time much easier to bear. We got there and she said that she had gotten her dressed cause she didn't think it would be beneficial for me to do it since so much time had passed. I was bummed, but was trusting her judgment. She said that she had washed her clothes for me and sewed her hat a little smaller so it would stay on better. We also were going there to do a couple more hand & foot moulds like ones we had done at the hospital, but wanted more - she had already done them for us as well.
When she said I couldn't dress her, I thought she meant I couldn't see her, but I asked and she said we could and that she was in on the couch. This is where the difference of this funeral home really made the difference for my heart...
I walked into the other room. It was a cozy little room, with candles in the windows. Rachel was snuggled up on the couch. She looked so pretty. I immediately forgot that I had just had major surgery and I dropped to my knees to see her. Matt & I were both in awe of how beautiful she is. One of my regrets after she had left the hospital was that I hadn't kissed her as much as I wanted to... So I fixed that. I kissed her as many times as I could fit in. I kissed her cheeks, her nose, her forehead. I kissed each finger and her little hands. I kissed her feet and I kissed her knees. All the places a Mama eventually kisses her children. I spent an hour kneeled down next to her, memorizing her face and kissing her. I told her over and over how much I love her and how much I'm going to miss her. I wrapped her up in the blanket Desirae made her and placed her in her casket and gave her the little lamb I bought her. I told her "Jesus loves you, but you already know that, don't you..." and then I said, "we'll see you someday, pretty girl."
We talked with Tammy for a while in the kitchen and before we left I went in to use the toilet... and snuck back into her room to give her another kiss! :o) It was so good for my heart to know that she is in a nice cozy house, that she's not beyond my reach, and that she is being so gently cared for. Oh, and that she had a Christmas tree!! :o) Afterall, she was due on Christmas! Tammy told me that her staff had been holding her and rocking her earlier that day. As a mom, there's nothing more I could ask for. And my little girl deserves that kind of care.
|She's wearing her "love to twirl" outfit. :o) My little dancer|
|this is the room she's in... Her casket is on the couch, her vault on the floor|
|Her first Christmas tree...|
When we left the hospital, I had questioned if I should even be stopping in there since I was already so emotional. When we left Autumn Green, not only was I no longer emotional, but I was at peace. I thanked God the whole way home for the amazing place He provided for Rachel. I came home and was able to rest well last night, knowing that Rachel was in the best place possible. Both her body...and her soul. Thank You, Jesus.