Sunday, August 15, 2010

Molly's Memorial Service

I haven't had the courage to blog since I wrote about our sweet Molly. I haven't known what to say, and a part of me hates that if I blog again Molly's story will move down lower on the page, and it will prove that life, even mine, moves on. But there is beauty in that, and that is part why I am here writing again. Because it shocked me that time kept moving. It amazed us that people around us could continue on with their lives completely unaffected by the fact that ours has changed forever; That our greatest fear had happened. But it shocked us even more that just like them, we had no choice but to get up every morning and keep living. The most shocking thing of all has been that we have been fine.

I am not going to pretend that I dont miss her so much that my heart literally hurts. It does.
I cannot tell you that I dont lie in bed each night staring at the place her crib was set up. I do.
I wont pretend to be so strong that I haven't let myself feel this. That I dont cry when I think of her. I do. I cry on my strong days. The other days I cant let myself start crying because I fear I would never be able to stop.

However, I can tell you that we have been carried through this loss so far. That we have felt comforted by the prayers of the wonderful people who heard of what happened, and asked the Lord to be with us. We have been able to laugh, and be happy. We have been able to use the atonement of Christ in a new way. We have leaned on him for comfort when we cant be strong. We have been able to learn about death, the ressurection, the mellinium, and other gospel truths and instead of feeling cheated out of a life with our daughter...we have been able to feel EXCITED for the time when we will raise her. I have been reading about what Prophets have said it will be like when Christ comes and we will be resurrected, including Molly, and I can tell you that we feel blessed.

Molly has a spirit so pure, that she didn't need to come take the test of life. She just needed a body, so that she can be resurrected. When that happens I will still be her Mother, and Lucas will still be her Father. The world will be better, and Christ will be here. Molly will be raised in a world where Christ governs, and all will learn His truth! We know that Satan will be bound for 1000 years beginning when Christ comes again. So Molly will get to be raised in a world where people will not suffer through temptations, and they will not sin. We have been taught that the world will be free of disease at that time. Now, when we think of it that way, and we focus on the things that we know, how can we feel cheated? We are unable to feel anything but lucky. Because guess who will raise her during that wonderful time? We will.

It is the prayers of our loved ones, the atonement of Christ, and the knowledge of the gospel that has given me enough strength to keep living. To allow myself to move on. Planning Molly's funeral was very hard. Making decisions about a memorial service for our daughter was nearly impossible. But we got through it, and I want to write about it. I have been scared to because it feels so final, but I have to remember that it is not the end, but merely the beginning of our waiting period.

We had made all the decisions during the previous week about how the service would go. The funeral home where Molly was, and where we would have the service, was ready and so helpful that we felt comfortable. However, we felt very anxious when the day came, both because we were expecting it to be the hardest day of our lifes, and we had decided to speak and were feeling nervous about what we would say.

We got to the funeral home and Lucas and I and went into the room where Molly was in her tiny white casket. She looked so beautiful, and peaceful. Many people later said she looked like "a perfect little doll". We felt amazingly at peace there with her, just like when we were saying goodbye at the hospital. We stayed in the room as our families came in to the viewing, to see and say goodbye to Molly. It was amazing to me to see how our families at first were in the room as two families suffering one loss, but after just a few minutes we melted into one family. It was a beautiful moment. We had an amazing family prayer together after all of our hugs, and time alone with Molly, then we walked in to to chapel where more friends and family waited to offer their love.

When we walked in everyone was standing, children's primary songs were playing, and our families took our seats at the front of the chapel. Shortly after, Molly's casket was carried in and set in the front of the chapel. I had expected to feel a rush of emotions so strong I would have a hard time not running from the room, but instead I felt the familiar peace she gave me. Lucas sat with his arm around me as the service began.

Our good friend, Mark Merkling, conducted the service. We sang the song "Families Can Be Together Forever" and then my sister, Sarah, said an opening prayer. I was already crying, but was feeling calmer than I had all week.

Earlier we had asked my Dad if he would speak, and he had agreed and had been spending the last couple days working on his talk. He spent so much time on it, and put so much love into it, and that alone touched me so much that I knew that no matter what he said it would be enough. He filled it with love. He stood up, and gave a wonderful talk, talking about the atonement and what the scriptures say about children. It was beautiful, and almost the entire time he looked right at Lucas and I. It was beautiful, and I was so proud and happy to be his daughter, and that he was Molly's Grandpa.

After my dad spoke, he asked Lucas' Dad if he would speak, and he did. He got up, and shared his testimony, and spoke of his impessions of the week since Molly had passed. His is a strong speaker, and again I felt pride at seeing the strength of my family, and seeing another wonderful Grandpa for Molly.

After John spoke, Lucas' brother, Brian sang the song "Be Still My Soul". The room went silent and he stood at the frong of the room and sang with no accompaniment. His song was beautiful, both the words he sang and his voice. It was amazing, and so full of love. When he finished the number of sniffles in the room went up.

As he sang I got a little nervous as I was up next to say something. I had a little outline of what I wanted to say, but was unable to write anything concrete. When Brian finished, I thanked everyone for their talks, and Brian for his song. I looked over at Molly and decided that I had spent the most time with her, and wanted to share a few of the memories we had with her. I told about the day we found out I was pregnant, about the first time I saw my Belly move, about being pregnant in general, and about the day she was born and our two wonderful hours with her. I was crying through the whole thing, but not so hard that I couldn't say what I wanted to. I then shared how thankful I was to know that Molly was ours, and that we were sealed together as a family forever, and how happy I was to have the gospel. Then satisfied that I had said what I needed to I sat down and watched Lucas stand up.

I am a proud wife. Lucas is terrified of public speaking, it makes him so nervous he can hardly function. But not today. Today he was speaking for his daughter, and he got up to speak and looked intead of nervous, just full of emotion. He looked over at Molly in her casket, and his chin started quivering. He started speaking with a shaky voice, holding back tears, then suddenly as if he were given all the courage in the world (Thank you Molly) he spoke with such power! You could see how much he loved her. You could see how much he loved ME. He spoke of opportunity. Of how this is an opportunity for us to try and live better. How it is an opportunity to get closer to our families, to eachother, and to serve eachother. He spoke on how this is an opportunity to love. It was beautiful and I was so so so proud of him. I am still shocked at the power he had while speaking for his daughter. It was moving, and when he finished the room was a constant chorus of sniffling.

We closed the service singing the song "Nearer My God To Thee" and then my brother, Steven, Said the closing prayer.

After the meeting was closed Lucas and I stood at the front of the room next to Molly's open casket and our friends and family came up and hugged and greeted us and saw Molly. It was beautiful, and I'm so glad we had so much support.

Once everyone was out of the chapel and getting their cars to go down to the graveside, Lucas and I were the last ones there with her. We said our last goodbye, and hugged eachother. Before closing the casket, we both kissed our little angel for the last time. Then Lucas carried her to the hearse outside.

Everyone lined up and drove down to the graveside. There were chairs set up and a table where Lucas again carried her and set her on the table. Then, once everyone was gathered around, Mark explained why we dedicate a grave, and shared a little about what we believe, and then Lucas got up. He then said a beautiful dedicatory prayer on the grave and picked Molly back up, and kneeled down, and set the casket in the ground.

I stood and watched him, moved by how he was handling it. We felt at peace again, and only for a moment did I lose it as it hit me that we were burying our daughter. It all felt so surreal and there was so much love that it wasn't as painful then as it has been at moments in these few weeks since.

Once he set her in the ground, I was given a rose to set on her casket. I kneeled down and gave her the rose and whispered "I love you, Molly" while the tears flowed and it felt more and more real.

We had decided on a balloon release to end the service. We gave one member of all of the extended families who were present and a few close friends a white balloon, and Lucas and I held one white one and the only pink one. The pink Balloon was for Molly. We let hers go first, then after it was a few feet up everyone else released their white ones. It was a stunning and very symbolic moment. We watched as the pink balloon floated up, leading all the white ones into the sky. It was like watching knowing that Molly is now leading our family. It was beautiful.

All in all it was an AMAZING service. It was such a spiritual day and so full of love and hope that instead of being the hardest day of my life, it became one of the most moving. Of course parts of it were unbearable, but the strength we were given was unbelievable.

This is the program that Lucas' Mom and Sister made. It has Molly's handprint on the front of it. It was perfect. Thank you Susan and Hayley!


Kelli said...

Amber thank you so much for sharing your story of Molly. My testimony has increased because of what you have shared. What a blessing the gospel is in our lives to literally cling to in our trials. Molly is beautiful and you and Lucas have a beautiful family. You can feel the love you and Lucas have for each other and your precious daughter. All of my love!

Katie said...

Amber, I can only comprehend a small sliver of what you're going through. I've experienced loss in my life as well, though not in the way you have specifically. I know it seems weird that the sun continues to rise and shine. I think you're inspirational and amazing with the faith you and your husband have. Thank you for sharing this with everyone. I want you to know I think about you everyday. I wish there was something I could physically do for you and Lucas other than telling you I love you over and over again.

It makes me so grateful that we have the true knowledge of the gospel and that you know that this isn't a goodbye forever. You will be able to raise your perfect little girl.

Again, you inspire and amaze me. I love you dearly, sweet friend. You're constantly in my heart and thoughts.

Love, Katie

coco_angel said...

You are amazing. There is something else Molly has done for you. She has turned you into a refined, tranquil woman. I've known you forever as silly, funny, awesome Amber who can always make people laugh and never stops laughing herself! But throughout this whole trial you have become more. You have truly gone through the refiner's fire and come out stronger and more beautiful than ever. I love you Amber! You are truly an inspiration! Molly is surely so proud to have you as her eternal mother!! <3

stenieone said...

Your strength truly inspires me Amber ( and Lucas too) I admire you so much. I've always looked up to you and I have kept you in my thoughts an prayers so often since we saw you at Sarah's wedding. You and Lucas are such a strong couple, thank you for sharing your story an strength with us. Waiting is the hardest thing to do but it always pays off. What a great reward it will be to have your sweet Molly in your arms once more. I wish there was more I could do for you two,but we send our love and prayers your way each day.

stenieone said...
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SqUiRt said...

Amber, you and Lucas are so amazing! Thank you so much for posting all of this. I know all that you went through was hard, but it will all be worth it in the end when you get to raise her in that perfect world! Thanks for your testimony. It has done nothing but strengthen mine. You two are incredible. I love you lots and you will continue to be in my prayers.

Erin Ann said...

Amber-I don't know if you remember me. I'm Erin Lowther (former Erin Langston) and we lived just a street away from you guys, and grew up in the same ward. My mom told me about what happened, so I checked out your blog and have been so touched by your words, your testimony, and most of all, the amazing Spirit. I love how you said that you and Lucas have been strengthened during this incredibly difficult trial. It's so amazing how the Lord works. My husband, Reid, and I have prayed for you and your family and know the Lord will keep taking care of you. Thank you for your blog - and you are SUCH AN INCREDIBLE WRITER!!! - keep on teaching us through your experience. It's a blessing to read your words.

Lulee19 said...

I found your blog through Faces o Loss and my heart breaks for your incredible loss. Molly was such a beautiful baby.