As I've said before, we didn't have a regular church to have Ellie's funeral at, my aunt stepped in a took care of that by enlisting her's and my grandparent's church. The Pastor- the amazing Pastor Paul- and the "Caring Ministry" were unbelievable. They took care of everything, and were so kind and caring about it all. We told the Pastor many times that we didn't want the funeral to be completely depressing- that wasn't Ellie. We wanted pink and purple- not old lady funeral flower arrangements or old church hymns. Pastor Paul did pause for a second when we said we wanted a Pearl Jam song played at the end, but once he listened to it- he agreed.
I can't say Ellie's funeral was perfect. The words Ellie and funeral and perfect don't belong together. But it was the best we could do for her. We wanted all of the people who never got a chance to meet Ellie, to know just how amazing she was. We asked people to wear bright colors, especially pink and purple, we made poster boards of her pictures, we had people write notes on pink and purples hearts to send up on balloons, we handed out her picture with bows, jingle bells (Elle Bells) and Baby Beluga lyrics on them. An entire congregation sang her Baby Beluga one last time. My cousin sang a song, another cousin read her a poem. I had a chance to tell everyone how perfect, funny and loving our girl was. My friend made a beautiful video to show exactly what I was talking about.
So many people came that day to celebrate a life just nine months long; people we hadn't seen or talked to in years, family members from across the country, the OB that delivered Ellie, her pediatrician and his nurse, my old co-workers still scrubs, my dad's co-workers in uniform. Ellie had a her own little honor guard, and a police escort to the cemetery. Ellie's two uncles and our two guy friends carried her small casket and laid her to rest for the final time. Our closest friends and family gathered around her casket while Pastor Paul said his final words, and while we placed white roses on her casket. We all sent Ellie balloons with little heart messages to let her know how loved and missed she was.
It wasn't at all how I planned to spend October 29th, 2010. But I think we did the best we could for her. And I think she was there with us that day- she knew how much we loved her. She knew we wanted her back more than anything... She knew it shouldn't be this way, and she knew that she needed to show us she was with us. And that she was ok...
|Ellie's beautiful picture and her little tutu|
|Having to show 3 and 4 year olds what Ellie's casket is something that we should have never had to do.|
|Trying to keep Max entertained...|
|Me giving Ellie's eulogy|
|The last clip from Ellie's video was an actual video of Ellie- taken a week before she died. In this clip she is waving...|
|Just some of Ellie's procession...|
|Nearly impossible to see, I know- but its an eagle (that has started to move away) that was hovering above the burial|
|Placing white roses on Ellie's casket|
Ellie's Balloon Release: Only three balloons got stuck in the trees- read this post to see why it was so amazing that those specific balloons got stuck.