The day I had been dreading finally came.
We got to hold our baby one last time. For about two and a half hours that felt like twenty minutes.
I couldn't stop staring at her. I wanted to memorize her face and the feel of her soft hair under my fingertips. I wanted to remember forever that she had my nose and my husband's mouth. She looked so beautiful in her exquisite white dress, wrapped in the silky white quilt my aunt made for her.
But we couldn't hold her forever, because it wasn't really our Ella. It was only her temporary tabernacle. Even though I knew this, it didn't make that moment of farewell any easier. My broken heart split all the wider.
Hearts that have been broken wide open need to be filled up with something else. That's why we have funerals.
You could say the day was perfect. The weather was beautiful; a tender mercy among many.
There was so much love at that place. I feel it wrapped around us even now and I know it surrounds the place where our baby rests.
The words that were spoken and the prayers that were offered were perfect.
Perfect words on a perfect day for my perfect little girl.
Truly, God blesses those that have cause to mourn.
There is no doubt in my mind that the power of God's priesthood protects her now. It is that same power that gave me miraculous peace and strength enough to drive away from that place. It is the same power that turns a horrible day into a sacred one. It is the same power that binds me to my husband and us to our daughter.