"Let me tell you a story...
February 15, 2007.My family was driving home from a visit at Sick Kids with my daughter's oncologist. He knew it was not going to be much longer for her... While on the road home, My daughter gave in to her higher calling and stopped breathing at 2:22 pm. After stopping for a period of time, we carried on, with her snuggled safe in my arms and her older brother in his seat beside us, to a family member's house where we prayed before heading to my mother's house. Once there, I sat with my daughter in my arms, rocking her in the rocking chair for hours. We called our doctor and nurse who had to come and do the official call of death. Sitting there with her allowed our immediate family to come and say goodbye to her.
At about 9:00 pm I decided that I needed to lay with her again so I took her into my mother's bed and we laid peacefully together, alone. While watching her there beside me, it was 9:33, I knew that at that moment she decided I was going to be okay and it was time for her to "leave". I felt her go. A little while after this moment, I knew it was time to give her away and I, as her mother, needed to prepare her. I bathed her and cleaned her up, got her dressed in her comfiest pyjamas and at about midnight my husband and I took her to the funeral home and laid her to rest in what was her final bed. I know, without a doubt, that those hours I had with my daughter were a gift. I cannot imagine this experience happening in any other way and I know it has been a big part of my healing process.
Birthing her from my body and then holding her safe against me in death, is something I will always be grateful for. It gave us the bond and power to do it together and on our own terms, when we were ready. I feel like I was able to "give" her instead of having her "taken". Some have thought I was weird to hold my dead child for so long but for me, it's what saved me. And I know that plan was a gift from my daughter.
It was the single most devastating, heartbreaking and beautiful experience of my life. Giving her away gave me the gift of knowing I could do anything. There is nothing harder in life than that moment. February 17, 2007, we buried Elizabeth. She continues to live on through myself and her father, along with her brother and sister.
Elizabeth Mae November 12, 2005 - February 15, 2007