I can hardly believe it's been 3wks since Noah was born. It seems like a lifetime ago. I've really kept to myself since then. I haven't left the house since his service over 2wks ago. I put a piece of mail in the mailbox the other day. That was the most I've been out of the house. I have no desire to go anywhere. This blog has pretty much been my only form of communication lately. And even this has been really difficult for me.
Thinking back on Noah's service, it went as best as could be expected. I felt in a fog that day. I had woke up at 2:30am that morning after barely sleeping. I felt nauseous and nervous all day. Those who have given birth, know that a few days after having a baby your body is physically not up to par, then add everything that we were going through, I just didn't feel well at all and was literally shaking on the way to church.
I remember being at church and finally going into the room to see Noah for the first time since he left us at the hospital. Walking into the room and seeing flowers and his little white casket made me burst into a fit of tears. This tiny, hand made casket held my precious son. Oh he looked beautiful though!!! He looked like he was peacefully sleeping and should wake up at any moment. He was wearing the outfit the kids & I picked out for him several weeks ago. A baby blue & white outfit with the saying "Little Brother" embroidered across his chest. His hands felt so soft. Noah looked SO amazing!! We stood there as a family just gazing at him. I knew this day would come but there is no way you can ever prepare for it or even imagine what you would feel.
The time came to end his viewing. The funeral director said I could hold Noah one more time if I wished. So I did. I wanted to feel my baby in my arms one last time. I can't even begin to describe my emotions or thoughts as he placed my son in my arms. I wanted to pause time, and pray desperately that he would wake up. I will be forever grateful for our wonderful friends Kevin & Kerry High (http://kevinhighphotography.com/) who photographed our time together as well as our service. I know that day was a blur to me, but I'm so thankful they captured many memories of us and our son.
I don't know how long I held Noah for. We huddled around him together as a family. Finally, I had to hand him back to the funeral director who placed him back in his casket. He was wrapped in 2 hand made blankets. One was white with a baby blue border, made for & prayed over by some women just for circumstances like ours. Another blanket was anonymously given by a lady from our church. I wish I knew the entire story, but she went to our pastor and gave him this blanket she spent a lot of time making. She had been making it for a baby in her family who passed away and for whatever reason this baby hadn't received it. When she heard our story, she felt lead to give the blanket for Noah to be buried with. So together, we as a family lovingly tucked these 2 blankets around Noah. All we could see was his little face after we placed the blankets around him. As we stood there crying, the funeral director put the little white lid on his casket. What a sinking feeling that was.
We followed him out to the graveside. We were burying Noah prior to the memorial service just us as a family. I felt numb sitting there at the grave, staring at the casket that held my son. I was thankful it was sunny out and not raining. Noah was being buried next to my grandpa at our church. What is really ironic I guess you could say, is my grandpa died 27yrs ago the same exact day Noah died, July 14th. In fact, their funerals were even held the same day, July 18th. I was only 3 1/2 years old, but I remember vividly my grandpas viewing and being lifted to his casket to kiss him. Who would've ever guessed my son would be laid to rest next to him all these years later. Only God knows why my son was chosen to go to Heaven the same day as my grandpa. My grandpa missed out on seeing my kids but I'm sure he was standing there with open arms when Noah arrived in Heaven!
After our pastor did the graveside service, the kids each had a red, heart-shaped balloon they each kissed and released for Noah. The last several weeks, the kids often talked about how in the coming months, they plan to write Noah letters and send them to him in heaven via balloons. So it seemed fitting they send him their hearts that day!
It was hard to leave the graveside and head into the church. I was so amazed at how many people not only came to see Noah but also attend the service. It meant a lot to us. It was a beautiful service albeit hard for us as a family. Each of the kids wrote Noah a letter. They went up front with our friends Kevin & Sharon who read the kids letters. Hannah had actually chosen to read her letter herself. Which is quite amazing as I've mentioned before, she took things the hardest out of all the kids. But she did a great job reading her letter. We also shared a video I put together of photos of our time together that I will share sometime soon here.
We had a light meal in our fellowship hall following the service. By this point, I personally was so physically exhausted. It was nice though to see so many people there. We were the last to leave along with our pastor. As we were gathering our things, the kids asked if they could go say goodnight to Noah. I was not only physically exhausted but emotionally as well and was thankful Kevin was up to walking them out to the grave. They all went out to say goodnight to Noah which just broke my heart. They should've been tucking him in his crib for the night. Not walking out to his grave to say goodnight.