Matilda’s Funeral

Today we said goodbye to our beautiful Matilda Mae.

It was a day of heartbreaking sadness, dawning realisation that our daughter is truly gone and a surreal feeling of peace and of calm as our family and friends gathered around us, in person and online, and helped us through the day surrounded in their good wishes and love.

Today was a day of memories.

Today was a chance to say goodbye.

Today was knowing that our baby girl can finally be at peace.

She is free!

And though I cannot write this without breaking down I am happier than I have been since she died.

Knowing that we have treated her body with respect.

That we have set her soul and her spirit free.

We have done all we can now for Matilda Mae in life.

We must now make sure that her memory lives on and that the tragedy of her death can bring some light to others in some way.

Since the day that Tilda died I have been planning and writing her goodbye.

I am not sure what I am going to do to fill my days anymore.

This has been my focus and my passion.

It is what has pulled me through.

The planning and the writing come easy to me but making the service happen exactly as I dreamed.

That fell to family and friends and they did not let Tilda or I down.

The church was packed.

Over 100 people came to say goodbye to our beautiful Matilda Mae.

The service was everything we could have wished for and more.

My best friend drove us to the church and we waited for Tilda just outside. We arrived at the church behind Matilda in the hearsette. The funeral directors did not know that we were there. They had no idea that we were in the car behind. As they approached the church the conductor got out of the car and bowed. He put on a top hat and carried a staff as he led the car the final few yards to the church. They treated Tilda with gentle respect and it was so moving to see.

The image from today that will stay with me forever is my husband carrying our daughter’s coffin into the church. He was so brave and so strong and his tears fell but he did not stumble. He proudly carried our daughter and gave her body back to God.

I walked into the church ahead of David and Tilda, supported by my best friend. I carried a wooden star and Tilda’s fluffy bunnies.

David’s brothers flanked him as he brought Tilda down the aisle. I am so glad that they were there beside him and providing the guard of honour I had dreamed of for Tilda.

As I write this now my heart is breaking as I know that this is not how things are supposed to be. David should have been walking with Tilda down the aisle in 20 or 30 years time, as a proud father giving her away on her wedding day.

The service was full of beautiful readings and we are so thankful to everyone who agreed to read. We know that it was not an easy thing to do. I think there was a good mix of real people speaking, recorded voices, singing, recorded music and photo montages.

Every reading was a highlight for me and I was incredibly proud of everyone. Thank you x

I would like to thank Susanne and Heather who spoke on behalf of the parenting blogging community using words they had written themselves combined with a wonderful speech written by Merry. I also had amazing contributions from The Boy And Me, Kate Takes 5 and Jallie Daddy but there was just not time to include them all.

As it was we over ran at the church and had to race to the crematorium.

David and I travelled to the crematorium with Matilda Mae.

I had expected to find this really hard but actually it was okay.

The service at the crematorium was very short and simple but it was also incredibly meaningful and beautiful.

My best friend spoke on behalf of friends and David’s brother, Martin, shared memories from our family. Then David read Baby Tilda her final bedtime story before she was given to the Lord.

As the music from In The Night Garden started, the curtains began to close and we said goodnight one last time for our beautiful Tilda Mae.

As I left the crematorium I did whisper Goodnight Matilda Mae as I will continue to do every night before I sleep.

I hope that she is happy and at peace.

I hope that she is happy in heaven and able to look down on us with love.

Knowing how much we love her and that we miss her with all our hearts.

I know now that she is never coming back.

Our beautiful baby is gone.

After the crematorium we went to the pub where it was lovely to catch up with family and friends. I found that I was mostly okay at the reception though I did collapse on my friend Millie and Keira from Mama Designs at one point when it just all got too much.

It was lovely to see all the tweets throughout the day and to know that #matildamae was trending in the UK. How fabulous is that.

My little blog baby was today a social media star.

A fitting tribute I think.

All off today was a fitting memorial for our precious baby girl.

Who achieved so much and touched so many in her tiny little life.

We miss you Baby Tiger!!

56 thoughts on “Matilda’s Funeral

  1. I am so sorry that I could not be there in person, but it was amazing to see on Twitter and be part of it. I tweeted in line with the order of service, and I got it pretty spot on! Even down to over running.

    I hope that saying goodbye has brought some peace. I still can’t really believe she has truly gone.

  2. Jennie you are so strong and such an inspirational mummy. Having read your blog for the past month, my heart breaks for you and your family every day. My girls and I wore pink and purple today in Matilda’s memory. We have never met, but your strength and honesty have impacted me greatly.
    Fly high little Matilda Mae. May you be at peace and watch over your adoring family.

  3. I can hardly see the computer screen through my tears. I don’t really know what to say, the words are so hard to find, except I am thinking of you all. God bless you, God bless Matilda. She will be watching over you. xxxxx

  4. I am glad you are feeling some peace, but I am so sorry you are having to walk this very dark path. The service sounds beautiful. Here in our household we have had a candle burning all day for Matilda Mae with some bubbles beside it and every time I have passed by to come into or leave the lounge I have stopped and prayed for you all.

  5. The service was beautiful and I am do honoured to have been a part of it. The church was filled with love and that was so plain to see when I looked at you. Thank you so much for allowing is to help you say goodbye.

  6. You have all been in my thoughts all day, I am glad you were able to say goodbye to your little girl and feel she was at peace. Your husband did so well carrying her in and I’m glad you were able to travel with her. You will remain in my thoughts. Much love x

  7. you are a very brave lady Jennie and my heart goes out to you and your family. It sounds as though you did Matilda Mae proud today and I hope you will find comfort from this day in the future

  8. I’ve thought about you all throughout the day. I have no words, just tears. Matilda Mae has touched us all. Much love to you and your family. Sleep tight Angel. xxxx

  9. You’ve been in my heart all day – as you have been since this happened. I’m so, so sorry that you had to say goodbye to Matilda Mae today. xxxxxx

  10. I just wanted to tell you how incredible I think you are. I have no idea how impossibly difficult it must be to get through every minute of every day but the fact that you were able to plan such a moving testament of love to your baby, encourage such a wealth of support and strength on twitter and inspire such a wonderful fundraising move just takes my breath away. Thinking of you and your precious Tilda.

  11. how you managed to do this today i will never know, you were soo so brave , i can only imagine your pain. rest in peace, beautiful Matilda.She was taken for a reason. that she was the best. and we will all understand one day.goodnight beautiful baby.thinking of you xxx

  12. You did your beautiful, cherished daughter proud today. No parent should have to witness their own child’s funeral. Praise the Lord for her life; now may she rest peacefully in the arms of God, and you find some comfort in him in the days, weeks and years ahead.

  13. It sounds like the most beautiful and fitting service. I just know you did Matilda proud. Just knowing so many of us were dressed in pink and purple and tweeting our thoughts and prayers made it an extremely special and poignant day for us. Thank you for allowing us to all be part of her day. My love goes out to you all xx

  14. It was Lucie’s 2nd birthday today and at various points during the day I was thinking about you and your family, especially when we were in the space room at the Science museum – all the twinkly stars there reminded me of my twitter feed! Goodnight Matilda Mae, it sounds like a perfectly lovely service and that you did her proud. Sending much love xxx

  15. so much love to you all Jennie, I wanted to tell you that at the time of the funeral I was working with a child in counselling, my heart was heavy thinking of you, and out of nowhere the child stopped what she was doing, picked up a pink crayon, drew a beautiful big star and coloured it in, she looked up at me and smiled and told me that the star was free to fly away now. It was quite a moment in light of what I knew was happening for you. Thinking of you all x

  16. You have been in my thoughts all day. The service sounds so beautiful and you and David managed to be so strong. I am sure Matilda is at peace now. I hope in the coming days and weeks that you and your family may gradually begin to find a little peace of your own xx

  17. You were never far from my thoughts today. Tilda has her wings and knows how much she was loved by you all. She has touched so many of our lives and I will never forget her. Twinkle brightly in the sky Matilda Mae xx

  18. This is so beautiful. You are so brave, I can’t even begin to imagine what you went through today and what you have been through. Please keep holding on to the truth that Matilda is with the Lord in heaven now, the most happy place, and He is looking after her and keeping her safe for you. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” I have prayer lists that I use to remind me of who to pray for daily and you and your family will remain firmly on it. May God bless you and keep you strong xxxx

  19. What a horrible, horrible thing for you to have to do but sounds like you made it as perfect as it could be. Your little girl has touched so many and will not be forgotten. Sleep tight Matilda Mae xx

  20. Though we’ve never met, I am following you on both Twitter and your blog. My heart has ached for you these past weeks. The words of #matildamae have spread further than the UK and have touched people globally.

    Thoughts and prayers for all your family.

  21. I was not aware of you, your family and your story until today, I could hardly read this post, so moving and I honestly can’t begin to imagin what it is you are going through and how you are feeling, hopefuly you can take some strength from people’s comments on here and on twitter, so I am sending you and your family all my prayers, love and support, x

  22. You and your family and your darling Matilda were never far from my mind today. I am glad you gave her the send off you wanted, it sounded beautiful. Much love to you all xx

  23. Jennie even though I don’t know you i have tears falling. I have thought about you and your family all day today as you did what no parent should have to do. I hope you can find some peace tonight after such a tough day. Big hugs xxxxxx

  24. I was proud to be at my screen with my MM stars in support of you all. Another moving and beautifully written post, Jennie I don’t know how you manage it all, the words must just flow for you but thank you for sharing your day and allowing me to be in some small way involved.

  25. The service was truly beautiful and I’m so honoured to have played a very small part in it. Your strength, love and dignity helped me so much today and I am in awe of what an amazing and inspirational lady you are. Rest in peace sweet Baby Tiger xx

  26. I have sat in tears reading through some of your posts over the last few weeks, I can’t imagine what your family and friends must be going through right now. At least your little girl can be at peace now. Wishing you all the strength in the world to get through this truly difficult time xx

  27. It sounds like a really beautiful, moving & fitting Goodbye to your beautiful baby girl. I feel honoured to have been a part of it, even in such a small way.

    I’m so glad to see that you seem to have found a measure, at least, of peace at last.

    She will always be with you, & those she has touched will also never forget her. Matilda Mae’s light will continue to shine x


  28. So grateful you had such loving support today – both at the funeral and in the online community. Matilda Mae has touch so many of us, thank you for sharing her story so honestly, despite the pain.

    You were in my heart today, and I especially pray for you in the coming days, as you continue to adjust to this new part of the journey for your family. You are not travelling it alone.


  29. You have all been in my thoughts today and I have shed many tears for Matilda Mae and for the pain you must be feeling. My heart is broken for you and I don’t even know you. Your strength, courage and devotion to your family and your beautiful little star are an inspiration to us all. No parent should ever be in this position and I truly hope that you can find strength from each other to get through this terrible time. Much love to all of the family xx

  30. Jennie & David, your beautiful Matilda Mae was so lucky to have you as her Mummy & Daddy. You both are just amazing and what you’ve done for her in her little life and in the days since you found her sleeping changed peoples lives across the country. Tragedies happen every day but I’ve never been touched by someone’s, whom I don’t know, story as much I was touched by yours. I read your blog every day for the last few weeks and every new post absolutely breaks my heart. I am a better mother, daughter and friend because of Matilda Mae and I shall never take a single day for granted as tomorrow is not guaranteed.

    Her final journey to God’s arms was just beautiful and I was thinking about your family with aching heart all day. Baby Tilda will always be in your heart and mind. May her memory be a blessing!

  31. Before today I never knew about your blog. I had never read about your life or seen pictures of your beautiful children. Despite this, I have done nothing but think of you all, all day. I have cried tears for you and Matilda and the huge grief you’re suffering. I have held my kids much closer and dearer today and remembered that they are both gifts and miracles. I do so hope you take strength from those silent readers remembering Matilda. Before now it would’ve been me but I felt compelled to leave a note. Your strength won’t go unnoticed and it sounds like you gave Matilda a beautiful send off.
    She will be in my thoughts everyday, forever. RIP Matilda mae.

  32. What a beautiful way to say goodbye to Matilda Mae. Although we do no know you, (you are friends of my friends), my daughter (born just a few days after Matilda) and I will listen to ‘In the Night Garden’ from now on and think of your precious star as the little boat sails into the night.

  33. I am so very, very sorry that this happened to you. I learned of your story yesterday and couldn’t even begin to imagine how heartbroken you and your beautiful family must be. I am not a mother (yet) and so I know that I cannot possibly know what that loss is like but at the same time I know that you feel a devastation beyond words. And so I had to say I am sorry, and maybe more importantly, that its okay not be okay. Let yourself grieve. Cry. Write. Scream. Laugh. Do what feels right in that moment and know that you are stronger than most for having lived this last month; the hardest month many people would ever live. Your twins are loved and cared for and you never have to question your quality as a mother. Every word on these pages makes is abundantly clear that you are a wonderful mother. But Jennie you are also a human and its alright to not do the right things right now. Those children will always remember your love; these memories will not resonate with them at all in the grand scheme of things. They, like you, will be just fine in time. Matilda Mae was here to teach you something about yourself, about how precious life is, about your capacity to love, to feel. She accomplished that and now she has gone back to watch over your family. But she’s alive in your heart and always will be.

    I am sending you warm thoughts and wishes that each day that passes brings you a little peace and solace and that soon you are only left with the wonderful memories of the beautiful 9 months with that beautiful little girl.

  34. Always in my thoughts xx Shine bright Matilda Mae and give your mummy and daddy and brother and sister the strength and courage to continue without you xxx

  35. It’s amazing how strong you’ve been. I’m quite in awe and I’m sure that Baby Tilda is very proud of her mummy and daddy. What a beautiful service for a precious little girl.

    We thought of you all day. I tweeted and followed the order of service as best I could, following my daughter’s jabs then dropping her at preschool. Beforehand, we had cut out gold and silver stars and carried them around with us before sticking them in the ‘sky’ of our lounge-hall window. We blew bubbles after pre-school ‘for Baby Tilda in the sky’ and we planted a lovely pot full of pink and purple primroses, complete with a pink and purple windmill sticks.

    I am glad to feel that you feel somewhat happier and more at peace now – and I hope that as a family you can begin to put your lives back together and find a way forward, keeping Baby Tilda in your hearts as you go, of course.

    Lots of love. You both did your baby very very proud. x x x

  36. You were in my thoughts yesterday – and it was a beautiful thing to see on Twitter. The funeral sounded very beautiful (I did read the order of service) …. and I hope you experienced the smallest chink of peace knowing that you gave her such a beautiful goodbye.

  37. Pingback: This week | caterpillartales

  38. I’m sorry you had to be this wonderfully strong for your daughter, sounds like a beautiful funeral.
    I’m sure Matilda is looking down and smiling and very proud!! Xxx

  39. Your strength and love continues to amaze me Jennie. It sounds like a wonderful celebration of Matilda Mae’s short life and one she would be proud of her mummy for managing to arrange while her heart was breaking. I was so pleased to see you in the list of Outstanding Bloggers at The MADs this year – the way you have shared your story and let us all be a part of Matilda’s goodbye really is an inspiration. Much love. xx

  40. Never has a blog I have read touched me as much as this one. Never has a blog about people I have never met made me cry. The love for your daughter and family shines through. I just want you to know that you & your family are in my thoughts & prayers and I send you all of my love, support & best wishes for your continued journey. Stacey x

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