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!!