I woke up this morning and I thought to myself I can’t believe that today is really here. How can it really be the day that Jennie has to say a final goodbye to her precious baby daughter? How can my daughter be sleeping soundly in her cot, while Jennie’s is not? How can this be? But it was.

365_celebrating the little life of matilda mae

Heather and I have supported each other today. As our knees were knocking and our sobs were escaping, we have held hands. I found so much comfort in her being with me, beside me. I found so much comfort in many things today.

The canvas print of Matilda Mae standing at the front of the church.

The sea of pink and purple in the church.

The fact that my hands were held by Monika and Heather as we stood, and Jennie and David brought their daughter into the church.

And when it was time to read, and we couldn’t hide from the enormity of it anymore, I took a deep breath. I remembered that anything I had to do today was nowhere near as bad as anything that Jennie has to do from now on. I’ll admit now that I put my teacher head on. I imagined those people were children. We were in assembly and I was reading. No big deal. And I read. I read Merry’s words.

I’d planned not to look at Jennie as I read. In fact, Heather and I had both decided that if we looked at her, we would not be able to read. In the end, I had to. As Heather read, I looked at Jennie and I saw her smile. I saw her nod in agreement to Heather’s words. I saw her love. And that is what got me through it. The smile on Jennie’s face as she remembered her beautiful daughter.

Today I have been in the presence of love. I was dreading today. Heather and I wanted to run away. I broke down when I saw the church. I sobbed as I saw the little table I knew they would place the coffin on. I could not control my sobbing as David carried Matilda Mae from the church. I was held, as we are holding Jennie, by members of our online community. And the love I have felt today has come both from within the church, and beyond it. For all who tweeted and all who texted me today. Thank you.

As we were saying goodbye, Jennie told us to hold out little ones tightly tonight and I told her that we always will. And then we cried. And let me tell you, she is one amazing woman. For all that she has been through, Jennie has never once asked why her? She has always remained dignified and she has shown me today just how much love she has in her heart. I am truly honored to have been part of today.

Rest in peace baby Tilda.xxxxx

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