floating by the funeral…

Two years ago today we said our last goodbye to physical Madeline.  Her calling hours were the night before, the last time I saw her body, touched her hair and rearranged her things.  Madeline will forever be in my mind as a vibrant and lovely little girl- who smiled lots, cried, laughed, followed the rules, broke the rules and giggled like… a version of Lucy.  In those days though my brain has recollections of her then.  She wasn’t my Madeline, really, she looked different, felt different and wasn’t full of spirit and soul.  Two years ago today it was Madeline’s funeral… and it was a weird and special day.  I felt like I was watching it from another place.  There was an Erin there, dressed and clean and there… but she wasn’t me.  I was floating, confused and watching from a distance.  She watched and listened to the songs and readings… she heard the foot steps as Madeline’s tiny coffin was carried down the aisle and everyone watched… she saw the sun shine very brightly and blind people during moments and songs… she wrote words but couldn’t speak them… what a surreal and weird day it was.  It went- perfectly.  I know that sounds crazy.  That my daughter’s funeral and wake were perfect and lovely.  Stupid sounding actually.  I remember so much of that day…

Imagine saying goodbye and shifting your daughter’s bear and a box full of lovely things her sister’s wanted to send with her.  Imagine looking at your lovely and beautiful daughter and she looks and feels so different.  I hate remembering her skin then.  Her eyes weren’t the same… her cornea’s were donated (someone else has her eyes…) and it made her face look so different.  Her outfit was so Madeline.  Her favorite blue sweater with ruffles and the horse shirt that she earned for filling her bucket… her little Gymboree jeans with snowflakes and her twinkle toes… her pearl earrings… her Hello Kitty headband… all the bits of Madeline.  All the things I can never touch again… I can only visit her spot and enjoy quiet or loud or picnics or naps…

Her funeral was so her… songs, words and people… her readings were just regular readings… her eulogy was personal and real.  It was perfect.  I loved that when I wondered and needed music thoughts- it came to me to go to what Madeline loved.  Which made those songs bittersweet and full of different meaning… Twinkle, Twinkle little star… and You are my Sunshine… the Tangled song… all Madeline.  Her wake was full of friends, family members and person touches… it was like the wedding reception she will never have.  It was lovely.  I miss her.  I miss those days before February 8… I miss it all.  I miss the order in our house.  I miss wanting to do certain things… I miss having three car seats.  I miss life before.  I know that what I have right now is blessed and good and full… but I miss before…

Elizabeth Mitchell – You are my Sunshine.


Tangled- Now I see.



Love you darling.  Miss you every minute… I’m where I’m meant to be… and at last I see the light… and it’s like the fog has lifted… and it’s warm and real and bright and the world has somehow shifted… all at once everything looks different now that I see you…


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