Sunday, April 15, 2012

Good Bye

Today was one of the hardest days of my life. The days preceding it are right there at the top as well.
It's so hard to express how much we are grieving for Marissa. It's all mixed up with watching our son grieve, answering our confused daughter's questions and watching our dear friends suffer.

I've spent the last couple of days hugging crying people, running errands for people and praying. This loss has rocked our community and brought us to our knees. It's getting close to a week and our grief still feels so raw and the fact that she's gone so incredibly unbelievable.

Jon put it well when he said -
"Our church is more than just a church, it's our family. And on Tuesday we lost our daughter."
Photo courtesy of Heather Stovall

It's been the hardest thing I've ever done to watch my child grieve. He told me this week that he wished he could die so he could close his eyes and when he opened them he would be in heaven with Marissa. 
Caitlin doesn't really get it and keeps asking when the doctors were going to fix her so we could see her again. It broke my heart when we rounded the corner of the school and she saw her brother and friends on the playground set. She called out to them -
"Get off the swing set! That's where Marissa died and I don't want you to die."
(It wasn't where she died.)
It broke my heart. I told her it was okay, but then I started crying so I'm not sure she believed me.

Today was the funeral and I wanted to write down a few thoughts. Then I'm going to move on - at least on the blog. I want my kids to get back to a routine and I need to start healing.

Marissa was an amazing girl. She was funny, full of sunshine, happy and crazy fun. But if you've read my blogs or met me than you know that this little girl stole my heart when she told me about her love for reading. How could I not love her?! 
I've had the Wilmoth family over to my home, been to theirs, spent a week at a house in the mountains with them and had Bible study every week with Mary. But my very favorite memory is when I bought Marissa a book and she hugged me like I'd given her the world. I'll never, never forget that. The look on her face was how I feel when I get a new book and I totally got her.

Last night was the private viewing for the friends and family. It was gut wrenching to take my child to see his friend, so he could say good-bye.
Today was the funeral. Jon was a pallbearer and you can't imagine the sight of six men carrying that tiny casket down the hill to the grave site. They were all dads helping a friend by carrying his daughter to her grave. When we pulled up there was a long line of police officers standing at attention with their hands over their hearts. They stood there until every single car had passed them and parked. And since our church was packed and overflowing it was a long time. But they never moved as they showed their respect for a tiny little girl who lit up our world.
Photo courtesy of Beth-Anne White

After a few words the children each let a pink (Marissa's favorite color) balloon go with a wish to see her in heaven very soon.
Photo courtesy of Kristea Cancel
We watched as our children wrapped their arms around the Wilmoth kids as they all watched Marissa be buried. 
We left the cemetery with broken hearts. But we have a glorious hope that Jesus has promised us.
We'll see her again in heaven!
Photo courtesy of Beth-Anne White 


Beth-Anne said...

We did lose our daughter. I'm so glad our church is a family that we can grieve and heal together. Thank you for all your blogs on this, they have been part of my healing process.

The English Explorer said...

What a cute, little girl! I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. What happened to her?