This week are talking about the funeral planning and saying our final good-byes to our dear little ones.
We really didn't do much planning for Janie Beth's Celebration of Life before her birth. We went to the doctor the day before Jaie Beth was born and found out that I was 4 cm already and very soft. Upon finding that out, Joey went to the funeral home that afternoon. He picked out the casket and talked to the funeral director, who was amazing and a true God send! I believe he may have gone by the cemetary too, but there wasn't anything to do there at that time.
Since Janie Beth passed so close to the holidays there were some people that would have been out of town had we done her Celebration the weekend following her death, so we decided to wait a week and have it on Sunday afternoon, January 10, 2010.
The week after going home and before the Celebration, we planned what we wanted done. We went to the cemetary and picked out her spot and the tombstone we wanted and what we wanted on the stone. We were blessed to have a dear lady from church work at the cemetary. She sees it as a ministry and was very sweet. (I will interject here that she called a few weeks before from the cemetary and I was in the shower. It completely freaked me out to see the Cemetary show up on my caller id! Turns out she was calling b/c her Sunday School class had something for us. :))
We had visitation the night before her Celebration. It was a blessed time to share Janie Beth with those that didn't see her at the hospital. We found small animals that we the same as the kids big Janie animals. They put one in the casket with her and they each kept one. Katie Jo also picked out a baby doll to go in with Janie and we named her Katie Jo. :) She also has a lamb identical to the one I have, and Josiah drew her a sweet picture. We also placed pictures in her casket with her. She wore a dress just like the one she wore in the hospital, but I had to buy a new one and another blanket because I wanted to keep everything she wore or was wrapped up in at the hospital. She looked beautiful!!! My box from Sufficient Grace Ministries didn't get to me until after her birth, so I had a picture taken of my hand wearing my bracelet on her with her bracelet laying on her.
The kids putting their things in with Janie.
We had her slideshow on a TV in the corner for all to see.How she looked before we left. :) She is well loved!!!
I had a little bit of trouble leaving her, but not much because you could tell she wasn't really there. It was just her beautiful little body. Of course I cried as we left but only because I knew I wouldn't see her again. Katie Jo cried as well. I also was sad to leave her in the building, but she was in good hands.
We had our NILMDTS photographer come and photograph the visitation as well as the Celebration and graveside. I am very thankful to have those pictures!!!
The next afternoon was her Celebration of Life. I opened up with a duet with the trumpet and piano of "My Tribute". We had congregational singing as well of some hymns that meant a lot to us; "Because He Lives", "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms", and I think there was one more that isn't coming to my mind. We had Joey's sister play the harp. She played "Jesus Loves Me" and her daughter sang. Joey got up and spoke. It was really good!! The only disappointing part was the sermon by the minister, but thats ok! Overall the service was wonderful. We also played the slideshow of Janie Beth's NILMDTS pictures. I was very proud to see my precious baby girl on the screen!
Joey carried her casket anywhere it went, even from the hearse into the church before the service.
We then went to the graveside after her Celebration. It was a beautiful day! It was cold, but the sun was shining.
We still visit Janie Beth. I love to decorate her area!!!! It is how I can take care of her. :) I spend forever in Hobby Lobby picking out just the right things! I am very thankful to have a place to go that is hers. God has met me multiple times there!!!
In the Snow on her first Christmas.
This was last spring/summer.
This past fall.This past Christmas
Her 1st Birthday.Her 2nd Birthday.
We also release balloons at her grave on her birthday. Just a few days after she passed some friends brought us 22 pink balloons for the 22 hours that she lived. We released those, and her 1st birthday we released 22 pink 1st birthday balloons. This year we released Red Robin balloons because that is where we usually go eat on birthdays, so we went for her birthday and each of the kiddos got a balloon and released them. A couple days later we released her Happy Birthday Princess balloon.