Something we decided early on is that our kids should see Rachel after she died. We had wrestled a bit with how much we should include them in the funeral process and wondered how they would handle this. But now, we can say with confidence that it has been the right thing. Our kids have been included in the journey from day one and so it was natural that they were with us right until the lowering of the casket. We have cried with them. We have talked to them about how the Rachel we know and love isn't here anymore - that she is running and playing with Jesus. (I think Ethan is really happy about the idea of Rachel getting to do all those fun things in heaven.) Her body is like her house that she lived in for awhile. One day Jesus is going to give her back her body all fixed up. But for now she doesn't need it. They ask us from time to time where Rachel is, but they don't seem to be overly concerned about our explanation. They accepted that this is how things are. I have often been amazed at how our kids seem to grasp and accept concepts that are complicated for us.
|Off to the viewing. Ethan was so proud to be wearing his new "Cars tie" for Rachel. Dave bought the tie and shirt for him. I just remembered now that a few days before Dave bought it, Ethan told our friends that the color yellow reminds him of Rachel. Another reason why it seemed appropriate for him to wear it on this day!|
|Hugging a teddy bear given to her from the funeral home. Each of the kids (Rachel too) were given a teddy bear. Whenever they feel sad about Rachel, they can hug this teddy.|
|Ethan's armband is showing. You might remember that someone made these 'remembrance bands' for us. (actually called "Heartsleeves") We have been wearing them alot! I think it gives me strength to feel like I have a bit of her wherever I go. Puts new meaning into the phrase, 'I'm wearing my heart on my sleeve."|
|Abigail had times when she looked really sad. Mostly she was having fun running around...and then now and then, she would stop and say that she wanted to see Rachel. She would take a look and then run off again.|
"ooooooohhhhh.....so sweet" I think he might have been mimicing us;) Ethan cracked us all up with his eagerness to serve everyone tea and coffee. "Can I get you some tea? Coming right up!" Too bad I had to put an end to it though - Ethan running with hot tea? Not a great mix.
What went into the casket...Every item chosen with love.
1. Rachel's favorite blue shaker. It fit so perfectly into her hand. Abigail loved to 'help' her rattle it. Never fail - Rachel would light up every time we put it into her hand.
2. Easter Dress from Grandma Funk and special bootees from Auntie Evonne (her christmas gift)
3. Special butterfly clip added later. (from my mom and sister) I have a matching clip.
4. Armband that says the word "Loved".
5. Special Teddy bear from a friend's daughter who we know from the Flames House.
6. Special "Sheep like" Blanket from a friend, given before she was born.
6. Teddy from Funeral Home
*We kept the cross that has her name engraved on it. It fits into the top of the casket. The casket was hand-made at a monastery in Idaho. If you want to know more, you can click the side link on the blog.