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A service for all the other services and parties

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Wide White: A service for all the other services and parties

Friday, March 18, 2011

A service for all the other services and parties

Jamie got an email yesterday from someone we've never met but who's walked this road before. She said,
I'm praying that saturday goes well. I know the feeling of pressure... of having only that ONE thing to plan! trying to pack every birthday, recital, graduation, wedding into one event.
That last sentence struck me. Jamie has said that numerous times. She was stressing out about the service and then said a couple of days ago that she realized why: "This is my only shot. This is the only chance I get to have a party for her. This is her birthday party and graduation party and every other celebration thrown into one. I want it to be perfect!"

The reality is tomorrow won't be perfect. Death is so evil and imperfect. While we celebrate Kaylee Hope's life, it's in remembrance and reflection of her death. Her life cannot be celebrated without acknowledgment of her death, and that is so painful, so wrong. This is nothing like a birthday party or a Christmas dinner. And yet we want so badly for it to be those things.

But we must celebrate her life. I was talking to my new friend Mark yesterday. Mark lost his son at 35 weeks a few months ago. Regarding the question of whether it makes sense to hold a service for a stillborn child, he asked, "Would you hold a service for your 95-year-old grandmother?" He let the question hang. I nodded, "Of course." The pregnant pause persisted and I understood what he was saying. If a 95-year-old life is to be celebrated and honored and remembered, why not a 22-week-old life?

For those considering coming to Kaylee Hope's service tomorrow, I want to reiterate 2 things.
  1. No matter how well you know us, please know that if you want to be there you are welcome to join us. If Kaylee Hope has impacted you and you'd like to be at her service, we want you to be there.
  2. If children are an obstacle to you coming, please don't hesitate to bring them! We're remembering the life of a child. Who better to take part in that than other children? Besides, our 13-month-old twins will be there along with my 5-year-old brother, so your kids will probably have some good, noisy company.
I have a strange uneasiness about tomorrow. I fear the thought of forgetting about my daughter after this is all said and done. I also fear the potential for more grief next week as we start to move on, as the cards stop showing up in our mailbox and people move on with their lives. I wonder if we'll feel left behind, screaming for someone to care as the rest of the world moves on. I wonder these things because I've seen grief take on these forms in others. I can't help but wonder what form it will take in my wife and me.

For now, I just hope for peace and joy as we celebrate Kaylee Hope's life tomorrow.



Blogger Kara Jo declared,

Oh Joey...I often don't know what to say, but I'm so so glad you keep posting what's going on in your hearts and minds as you both grieve and celebrate little Kaylee Hope. You express yourself so well. Please know that she will not be forgotten. As I wear my purple Kaylee Hope band, I think of her often. There will always be the pains of longing whenever I think of her, even as the months and years pass. I know this to be true, because it's what I experience when I think of other friends' babies who've died. Death is mostly ugly and evil--not part of God's original design. It hurts, sometimes unbearably.
Even so, looking forward to celebrating your daughter's life tomorrow. She IS a cause for celebration!

3/18/2011 10:04 PM  
Blogger zcoffeegirl declared,

Joey, you are wise. Just focus on what is in front of you, and I promise you - you will be wrapped up in peace tomorrow...because God promises to be with us. It will be a bittersweet peaceful celebration. Praying for you all....not sure we are able to come, but will be in prayer for you guys.

3/18/2011 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

If I lived closer, I would be there tomorrow. I will keep you in my thoughts. Tomorrow will be wonderful. Not perfect, but WONDER FULL. I am left in wonder at all I've learned from your wee girl's life and death, from you and all you have touched who have shared comments with you, that I have been priveledged to read.

I can about feel the cloud of love and praise amid tears moving with more strength than what we fear may be coming from Japan. I hope it is all you hope for, for Kaylee Hope.

BTW we purchased a new car on Thursay. We picked the color on Monday. I was leaning toward "Bordeax Reserve" then shifted to a dark silver. When my husband and I went to look at the colors on cars... he was partial to the Bordeax though not the name, the sun came out and the car looked like a dark purple, so I went with my husband, and that's what we have. I drove the van for 10 years and pushing 200K miles... I won't be forgetting Kaylee anytime soon.
Lynn Bamrick O'Meara (mom's Michigan Friend)

3/18/2011 10:34 PM  
Blogger Faith declared,

Hi. You all don't know me. I just started going to Hope Community Church this year. But the other day I got the email about the memorial service. I clicked on the link to read about Kaylee Hope and I just couldn't stop reading. I don't have any children myself, but your story is so inspiring. I am so moved at Hope Community Church's love for you all and for God's love for you and your family. Enjoy this celebration today! Praying for you!

3/19/2011 8:29 AM  
Blogger Keelie declared,

I've already thought about that for life moves on for everyone else. I still have people come to mind who've experienced death of a close loved one and I still feel sad at how life goes on. I would want it to stop, I know I would. I love you guys!

3/19/2011 10:43 PM  
Blogger Carla declared,

I will never forget the precious little girl I was introduced to not long ago. She will know my 3 children before I do as they are all together. I love your honest, God honoring lives and I do know what it is like when the meals and cards stop and life seems to have gone on for everyone else.

We grieve with hope together.

3/20/2011 6:03 PM  

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