We were picked up at 10:30 am by the following car, with Poppy in front in a one off car made for the funeral directors from a London Black Cab. Her flowers were beautiful. We drove to the chapel where our guests were waiting for us outside and just as the Celebrant arrived. We were early as the traffic had been kind to us, so I took the time to take some pictures of Poppy in the car with all her flowers. The guests were then ushered inside to Joe McElderry’s version of Over the Rainbow.
Then Poppy was lifted gently out of the car and handed to me.
I carried her in to the chapel and placed her on a Moses basket stand at the front. There was a beautiful candle lit just behind and her coffin wreath was placed in front. I placed the two little ornament booties on the coffin, a teddy and a blanket both made by friends.
I then went to sit with my family at the side. The celebrant gave a beautiful service, talking about our hopes and dreams we had and our loss along with a few readings and poems. My 2 eldest daughters shared the reading of a poem written by a close friend of mine:
Poem by Sio Atkins
“I wish I could stop mum’s hurt
I wish she did not feel such pain
I see it in her eyes
I hear it in her voice
almost like her heart will break in two
you see my mum lost something precious
something unique to her alone
she lost my baby sister
for a breath she never drew
I want to tell her I love her
and hate to see her hurt
I want to hold her hand
as she bids our poppy adieu”
Then my 4-year-old got up and sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Our guests were asked to reflect on another poem written by a friend of mine whilst Songbird was played in the background.
Poem by Karen G:
She took shelter in her mummy’s womb
and felt love & safety as a flower’s bloom.
The sounds within of a beating heart,
Spoke words of love right from the start.
The warmth & security felt all around,
allowed a vision to be formed by sound.
One that taught many lessons of love,
& a rare knowledge of a place up above.
Growing each day in His wisdom & grace,
while residing in a very special place.
Until HE called her with a love strong & true,
with a voice so familiar and one that she knew.
“Poppy, my child its time to come home to me,
you’ve been surrounded with love enough to see.
That I trusted you, my most precious child,
with a special mummy to stay for a while.
No finer mum could be found on this earth,
than the one that I chose that held you at birth.
Who loved you enough to set you free,
to fly with the angels for all eternity.
She’ll hurt at first each night & each day
but soon understand why you couldn’t stay.
Her heart will be sad for a little while,
but soon she will learn it’s okay to smile.
Knowing her child is in a beautiful place
surrounded by love, beauty and grace.
She’ll see you in blue skies up above,
and feel your presence in all that she loves.
Your mom still has a purpose to fulfill on earth,
the one I gave her on the day of her birth.
One day I shall call her, as I did you,
when the time is right, that’s what I’ll do.
So for now my sweet child we’ll stay very near,
to let her know that we’ll always be here.
We’ll send her love & she’ll talk to us each day,
and soon she’ll know how to believe and to pray.
For only an angel as perfect as YOU,
could serve such a purpose as you shall do.
To show that God’s love is like no other
except for the love between a child & mother.”
A friend then got up and read a poem she had written for us in her beautiful calm Irish accent:
“listen carefully can you hear it?
the gales of winter shout it
the gust of spring the same
the summer breeze whisper it
and the winds of autumn they all hold her name
no not now will it make sense
for you want your precious baby in real life
but what i tell you is not any empty promise
the oceans sing her name
hear the leaves rustle
the birds sing their song
listen can you hear it
dear poppy does belong
she will follow you through life
for the skies shine her light
she will never be forgotten
for the earth sings her song
she will come with sun
to show you every new day
she will come with the moon
to lighten your darkened way
she will be there for you
just you listen close
for the many miracles of nature
carry her message through to you”
I then read the Eulogy.
“I want to tell you about my daughter. I want to tell you about all the dreams and hopes I had for her, of all the things she could have been! All the things that we expected, waited for. The sleepless nights that we dreaded, oh yes let’s not pretend that the sleepless nights were looked forwards too. But we looked forwards to getting through those sleepless nights, walking around the house rocking her, soothing her, bouncing her on our shoulders, standing by the window to give her something to look at and distract her.
The dirty nappies, I personally never minded the dirty nappies of any of my children, in fact I remember with my first I used to tell everyone how cute they were! Maybe all first time mothers do that, but the novelty never lost on me, that this little human being was having a normal natural bodily function, because everything she did was perfect! Her nappies smelt like roses!
What I looked forwards to was her smile, her baby giggle, her little hands grabbing for mine and holding as tight as she could, what I looked forwards to was hearing her breathing, peacefully in her sleep, gently without a care. What I looked forwards to was her first trying to crawl, to move around, reach for things, achieving her own dreams for herself, and these things, just the beginning signs of a life full of dreams and hopes and possibility.
But, to tell you about what she could have been, is to tell you what she is not, and to tell you what she will never be. It is to tell you what has been lost.
But what is not lost is the love we feel for her and will always feel for her, this love that hurts so much, sometimes too much, this love I see and feel every time I look at my other children, the same love, no different just because she is not here with us any more or because we never got to see her be the things we had hoped for her or the things we looked forwards to or even the things we dreaded. Those things not being has not changed the love we have, those things just make that love that would have brought so much happiness….hurt instead.
Some people don’t want to see me hurt. I know they care. Some people want me to be strong. I know they care too. But I want them to know that by not seeing me hurt, by seeing me be strong, doesn’t mean I am not hurting or am being strong. It just means I’m hiding how I feel from you, but I want to be able to share it with you all and I want you to know it’s okay when I cry, and that it just means I love my daughter, and that’s okay. I want you to share her and my love for her too, I don’t want to hide from you the love I feel for her. I know you don’t really want me to either, or today, as we say goodbye to her, you would not be here to share that with me.
I’d like to ask you all close your eyes for just a moment and think of Poppy, picture what she might have been and what she can not be and let her know in your mind that it’s okay and that she can go now, she can move on to whatever might be out there, to start anew.
Goodbye Poppy, mummy loves you so much. xxx”
We then moved to the graveside leaving the chapel to the sound of the song Hushabye Mountain. When at the graveside, I was given the nameplate from Poppy’s wool coffin and she was lowered on to a bed of rose petals. Martin, me, my dad and all our girls had a single white rose each which we threw on top of her coffin. The celebrant then read the thanks giving and the committal and threw some butterfly confetti on to Poppy’s coffin, the pot was then passed around for each of us to throw some butterfly confetti in. Martin then read out the poem “Little Snowdrop”
“The world may never notice
If a Snowdrop doesn’t bloom,
Or even pause to wonder
If the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.
The little one we longed for
Was swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
For every beating of our hearts
Says that we love you.”
We were each given a lit incense stick which we placed around her grave whilst Matthew Andrae’s song “I Love You So” which was written for me and Poppy, was played. (Can be found on YouTube) We were then each given a paper butterfly to write a private message for Poppy on which was also placed in the grave with her.
I then sat a while next to her grave before getting back in the car to be taken to the wake. The funeral directors gave me a memory box they had made for Poppy, the front of which they had designed themselves of a Poppy flower fairy holding a poppy and with a butterfly flying above. Inside was a teddy they had bought two of and placed one in her coffin, a piece of her blanket, umbilical clip, hospital tag and memorial pendants they had made for us with her handprints and footprints on.
The next day we went to visit Poppy’s Grave and sat peacefully there for about an hour, having family time.