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Sunday, January 10, 2010

One Month of Missing Mariah

(Another "journal entry" post. Just letting you know.)

Every night, every single night, after Brian and I have knelt in prayer and then snuggled into our blankets, I cry. Sometimes I just weep quietly, sometimes I sob uncontrollably. And every night, every single night, I say to Brian, "push play". He knows what that means, and he starts reciting as if he were a tape recorder... "Heavenly Father loves us. He has a plan for our family here. He is doing something good. He has a plan for Mariah. We can trust Him. She is not lost. We will hold her again."

And so it has been every night for a whole month.

Grief is a weird thing. I don't know if it actually gets better, or our ability to bear it just increases. The Lord makes us stronger some days, lightens the burden on others. I don't know how that works. But I do know that I would not have survived the heartbreak and sorrow of these past days if it wasn't for Him. I am trying with everything in me to turn my heart over to Him and let Him help me and heal me, mold and shape me. I believe He is trying to make my heart more like His, and I want to let Him do it.

And He is teaching me. And giving me even more reason to hope. Isn't this treasure of knowledge lovely?

"The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth."

“A question may be asked—‘Will mothers have their children in eternity?’ Yes! Yes! Mothers, you shall have your children; for they shall have eternal life, for their debt is paid.”

“Children … must rise just as they died; we can there hail our lovely infants with the same glory—the same loveliness in the celestial glory.”

-Joseph Smith

Those are such promising words, and I try to hold on to them every minute. And though I am so very sad and miss her so very much, I am trying to surround myself with the light of the Lord, who can dispel all darkness. And the Lord is helping me. I have been inspired to place visual and tangible reminders of His promises around our home, and they bring me comfort and peace.

Dear friends sent us this lovely quote, and we hung it with some pictures of our Angel Baby.

And another friend stitched love into this powerful reminder that I placed where I can see it throughout the day.

Around the house I have left scripture quotes to strengthen me.

My favorite reminder of God's promises is my Mariah necklace, engraved with a picture and words given to me while I was in the temple 2 weeks after we laid her to rest.

"Each tear we shed is one of love,
While we're down here and you're above.
Forever loved is what you'll be.
Always in our hearts through eternity.
When at the trump we'll again see your face,
Then in our arms once more, darling Mariah Grace.

It is on a chain just long enough to rest right by my heart. I wear it all the time.

And with the Lord's strength, I somehow made it through the first month without her.

Brian and I visited her grave on her one month birthday. It was as bitterly cold as the day we buried her. I placed a single pink rose, along with a pink banner and a small picture on the site where the little perfect body of my sweet daughter is laid. Brian sang "How Great Thou Art" while I cried.

After dinner, the children all blew kisses to heaven for Mariah to catch, and ate pink cupcakes I had decorated with candy hearts.

Brian and I knelt in prayer that night, and then snuggled into our blankets. He wiped my tears, and I said to him, "push play". And he started reciting as if he were a tape recorder... "Heavenly Father loves us. He has a plan for our family here. He is doing something good. He has a plan for Mariah. We can trust Him. She is not lost. We will hold her again."

Happy One Month Birthday, Sweet Angel Baby. We miss you so very much, Mariah, and love you even more.


Rae said...

What a long month it has been! We still pray for you each and every day and many times each day and night. I can't wait until I can wrap my arms around you and just let you cry. I'll cry with you, and we'll both remember just how amazing our gospel knowledge is together. I love you Catherine...and Brian, and Kamberlynne, and Christian, and Jonah, and Rebekah, and Briella, and Mariah. Love you all sooooo much.

Lynne said...

My dear, dear, darlings -- We, too remembered a month ago we had to say good-bye from such a long distance, wishing we could hold you. I'm not sure even that would help, but I like to think it would. Darling Mariah -- I think of her running and playing and singing and smiling and.......knowing how merciful our Father is to keep Her from having to go through ALL this earth's pain; still wishing it were different for us. But, I do know He loves us and wants us home; I think of Mariah waiting to meet us all and the joy; just wishing it weren't so far away....and, I think of you all........xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

JE said...

{{{Jen and Family}}}

My heart still aches for you in your loss and your grief. I'm not even sure what words I could say that would offer you any comfort, but I do understand the kind of contradiction between our earthly sorrow and our hope for eternity. Just please know that you and your precious angel baby are in my prayers.

I think of you often and wonder how you are.

Love and prayers,
Jenn (Sudol) Terza

Catherine said...

I really shouldn't read posts like this before I have to go to work! I think you've been amazing this past month and I'm sure a lot of it is the Lord helping you, yesterday I was trying to put myself in your shoes and wonder how I would cope with it and I couldn't come up with anything besides relying on Heavenly Father. I love you and I'm so excited to be able to bring you dinner on Wednesday!

kim said...

Sweet Catherine. Ever my example of what true faith in the Lord should be. I too still cry for our loss but especially yours. Keep going sister. You can do it. I have such great faith in you. I love you. Love love love. Forever.

me said...

Thank you for sharing all these thoughts and revelations. I find such comforts in the quotes and doctrine that you write.

mom2beachbums said...

Catherine ~ Thank you for sharing your most precious of pictures and thoughts. I love you dear friend and my heart still aches for you. I keep praying. You are never far from my daily thoughts. Keep holding on keep holding on!! ~~Happy one month sweet baby girl Mariah Grace~~

Katherine and Andrew Bettilyon said...

We pray for you often! I sure love you all and I know that one day you will hold your sweet baby again!

Jenn said...

We love you so much and are praying for you constantly. Mariah has an amazing Mother,Father,Brothers and Sisters. You are a beautiful, eternal family.

sungold17 said...

I"m so happy you were able to do such tender things to acknowledge her 1 month anniversary date. I love that you have surrounding yourself with her pictures and tokens of her and your faith. I have faith for you that one day you won't have to have Brain "push play" ever day because you will know it all with out a doubt...(but for now keep pushing play Brian!)

When I see you post a new picture of Mariah I wish we all could have meet her. Keep hanging in there.

Sommer said...

Oh Catherine you are in my thoughts and prayers many times during the day. Your faith and strength have strengthened me more then you'll ever know. Thank you for being the kind of woman that I want to be. I love you and will continue praying for you.

Cothran Family said...

Mariah Grace is loved dearly at our home, so far away from yours. We have a daily reminder of her with us. We pray for you Catherine. We pray for your family. I feel privileged to see new sweet pictures of your angel and the beautiful reminders of her in your home. What a precious way to honor this sweet baby girl. Remember that you are so loved.

Joanna said...

What sweeter words than those of Joseph Smith, "Too pure, too lovely". I know one thing for sure, you are an instrument, (like it or not!) in God's hands. You will help other people through unimaginable heartache. I know that.