Saturday, December 29, 2012

A beautiful remembrance

On Saturday December 8th, twelve days after Abigaile Grace was born, our family was honored by a service that could not have been more perfect to honor and remember Abbie's brief life. We were blessed by about 100 people in attendance, and felt incredibly surrounded by so much love, comfort, and support from our family, friends, church, and community. I also am aware of several who wanted to attend but could not, due to distance or other conflicts that day. Therefore, I felt led to create as close of a simulation of the service as possible on Abbie's blog.

Abbie was dressed in a beautiful gown and hat (that were beautifully made by our wonderful next-door neighbor Kat Ryan, who is extremely gifted with a sewing machine), and laid on a soft, cuddly pink blanket that I had found for her to be cozily laid on. Inside the casket with her were a white teddy bear with a purple ribbon, a heart-shaped pillow, and a tiny heart-shaped necklace, of which I have a matching heart necklace that fits perfectly around the outside of Abbie's. These last three items were gifts from the wonderful NICU staff at Children's Hospital.
God is truly in the details - the day before the service, a gorgeous lavender blanket arrived, that Abbie's aunt Jess had ordered. It had been embroidered with "Abigaile Grace, 11-26-12, Loved and Cherished." We brought the blanket along with us to the service, thinking we would have it up front somehow along with Abbie's casket, photo, and flowers. We handed it to the funeral director when we arrived at church, and while we were greeting guests and not giving him any direction whatsoever, he went up and draped it carefully over the casket. It took my breath away when I walked into the room and saw how beautifully our little girl's memorial was displayed in the church.  The blanket was literally the exact perfect size, and really made the casket seem much more warm and cozy, perfect for a tiny precious child. The color of the blanket also exactly matched the ribbons (which say "Daughter" and "Sister") that the florist had chosen to be wrapped around our floral bouquets. The canvas photo to the left was an incredible gift that was given to us by the organization Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and the gentle and talented photographer Stacey Buckett from Buckett Photography.

The other priceless gift that was given to us by the photographer was a slideshow of the photos she had taken of Abbie with us in the hospital. The service was closed casket, so the wonderful staff at Hosanna! was able to take this slideshow and have it playing during the public visitation. This was important to me because I knew it would give so many beloved family members and friends a way to see Abbie at the service despite it being closed casket. The slideshow moved me to tears when I first watched it (in the privacy of my own living room!) and I know it moved many others to tears at the service as well. What a beautiful gift that our family will treasure for years to come. You can watch the slideshow here: Baby Abbie.

And lastly, I have included below an audio-recording of the service, that Hosanna's tech team blessed us with. The service was incredibly moving and powerful for our family and I know for many others in attendance. While we would give anything to have our beloved second daughter back with us on this earth, we were so honored by the way in which her short life was so beautifully celebrated, and many times during the service I envisioned her cooing happily in the arms of Jesus. We never heard her voice here, but I cannot wait for the joy I will be filled with when I hear it for the first time, someday when we meet again.

The service was about 50 minutes long and I have split it into 11 tracks. Click on each photo below to listen to each audio track. If you don't have time to listen to the entire thing, I would encourage you to listen to Pastor Ryan Alexander's welcome and opening prayer, and also his message. God's love, grace, truth, and promise are truly present in the message. We are so thankful to have Ryan as one of our pastors at Hosanna! May God continue to use him mightily for His service. And may God continue to use the short, sweet life of Abbie, to draw others closer into His arms, where Abbie is resting today.



  1. I'm so sorry for the loss of your little girl. She is beautiful

  2. Hello! I found your blog through diaperswappers. Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl. Our daughter was born July 5th and lived for 2 hours. Thinking and praying for you as you grieve her not being here yet celebrate her being in heaven. I loved your worlds "Our Fathers Joy" That she is, I am sure.

  3. oh Kristy. I couldnt even get all the way through the tracks of her beautiful service. My heart was hurting too much, and the tears rolling so I could not see. I am so sorry my friend.You are right, she is cooing in the arms of Jesus, free from pain, suffering, and any human maladies. I am praying for the healing of your mommy heart, and for the family as well as they walk through this. All my love ~Heather
    PS--I want you to know it killed me not to be there. I know you KNOW this, but I had to say it. <3