Exactly eight weeks to the day! This will be our last post to this site, as it is dedicated to the "preparation, life, and death of Claire". They told us probably 6-8 weeks, and boy were they correct. So many people have asked (or we have just said) how our last days have been, so we decided to share the whole story, because we believe it is beautiful! Don't misunderstand, it hurts, even more than we had anticipated. We knew it was coming, we knew to expect it, and we thought we were ready, but we were wrong!
Let us start by saying the last 15 days or so were long, particularly the nights. Claire used almost all her energy and breaths to cry. She would start around 11:30pm and cry (seemingly in pain) until about 5am. On Monday night, the same happened, except this time she was not crying, just having difficulty breathing. She seemed to get better around 5am, so we laid her back in our bed and slept. At 830am I was leaving to take Emily to an orthodontist appointment and before I left I needed to hook Claire up to the feeding pump. When doing this, I thought how peaceful she looked, almost too peaceful. So I checked to make sure she was still with us, and she was! Tammy would check on her about every 15 minutes, and while bathing Camille, she left the tub to again check on Claire. It was this time, around 930, that she found her. So as you can see, Claire was at complete ease all morning. What a beautiful day! (difficult, but beautiful). Nurse Sherri came and pronounced her dead at 10:13am. We had heard of other families bathing their infant, prior to calling the funeral home, we thought that was morbid, however, during this time, we decided we wanted to do just that, and what a great pleasure it was. Tammy bathed her lifeless body, and was able to brush her clean hair, add all the body oil and fragrances like she always has, and then let them take her away. It was extremely hard to let her go, but what a great experience to have with your child that one last time.
Thank you all for walking with us through this journey, and again, please do not hesitate when you see us to TALK, LAUGH, CRY, REMINISCE, ETC about this journey, trust us, its on our mind and we like to address it with you if you feel the need!
GOD BLESS US ALL AND ONE DAY WE WILL MEET HER AGAIN!
I always felt so honored to be Claire's Mommy, even before we had formally "met". Now, the day after her passing, she never ceased to amaze me, humble me, on how I got so lucky to be this child's Mother. All parents (especially Mom's) sit around and brag on their children. Its just a rule at being a Mom. Please allow me my moment to brag....
She entered this world surprising us all. She left us here together astounded. Her passing has left us both as parents stunned at the effect that she had on us. I always knew from the moment we learned of her illness, before she ever came to be, all of her days were ordained. How glorious and comforting to know that in the midst of it all, there truly WAS a plan....a divine plan. Divine is defined as; of God, sacred, holy. And so it was. I have taken so lightly that God truly has a master plan for us. Claire showed me this. Claire showed us that even in what was to be a negative thing, an illness and death, that all things truly will work together for our good. She drew out of us to live by our faith, for we truly lived moment by moment. She showed her Mother who was to be teaching her that I didn't need to know the details....in the appointed time, we would. As for Claire, she showed herself in such a way, I want to make her proud. I want to be a better person in EVERY way because of the pureness and life that gushed from her tiny being. She has left me full of hope to be confident of what is to come; for what I feared would be the worst time of my life could not have been more full of Jesus. Death is not something I now fear, how proudly my child taught me this. To know we were there holding her to usher her "home", I am honored. I bragged today that I do not know how God has had the time to give to anyone else because he has been encamped in our home to every detail. My child taught me that Matthew 10:30 is indeed true that the hairs on my head are all numbered. He orchestrated it all "custom fit" to us as her parents.
In almost every detail of her passing we changed what we had thought we would do. And we are so glad. The biggest change was in seeing our Claire for what would be our last time here on earth. We had thought yesterday, when finalizing the plans at the funeral home we would not see Claire nor would we have an open casket. We were so blessed to have had such a beautiful experience to her passing, we feared that seeing her might leave us heavy laden. We decided this morning that we would expect the worst but brave it just to have no regrets, and Claire outdid our expectations, and whispered in my ear, see Mommy, God IS able to do exceedingly, abundantly, more than we could ever ask, think or imagine(Ephesians 3:20). Not only did she radiate beauty like I have never seen before, she possessed that peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Leave it to our baby girl she even had a little smile, as if a smirk to show that there was joy in this day. We have yet to relish in this joy, but she has shown us that we will.
The loss of Claire is large. I told Claire I would try to not embarrass her today and I found such joy in thoughts of her and Eliot watching, and Eliot comforting my little lamb and telling her, "that it's okay, my Mommy was the same way". What a blessing...
For what we thought was our journey with Claire, the path is now unfolding. But he promised us that He would go before us and prepare the way and that He would show us this is the way, walk now in it....
We are leaving today to travel by RV - We will return home, sometime!!!!