Saturday, December 9, 2006

so sad

I can't even begin to tell you how awfully sad Daniele's funeral was yesterday. The mournful cry of her mother was heartwrenching and unnatural. It's not a sound I ever care to hear again.

There were hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of people who came to the service. We entered the church from the side after the family. I stood with Seth near the choir loft to the right of the altar. The whole church echoed and strained with sobs. Seated at the choir loft close to us were Daniele's fellow cheerleaders from her middle school. It was particularly sad to see these sweet young girls holding one another as they cried.

I looked down at my sweet little nephew Seth. Through my tears I could see that he held up the little wooden star with Dani's name on it that we each got as we entered the church and he smiled the sweetest little smile, the one where his eyes disappear somewhere in his fat, shiny cheeks. I realized just then just how scary this scene must have been to him. People all around him, including my brother--his tall, strong father--people he had never seen cry, were shaking with sobs.

I took him quietly to a chair in a hallway just outside of the church. He sat in my lap. Once and a while would whisper a little question. Like "Why did Daniele die?" Or he would take out his little star and show it to me with that same smile that I adore. Or he would say "I'm sad".

It is so sad.

This morning I went with Seth and Maggie to their swimming lessons. And then we went to have breakfast with Santa. It was so reassuring to see Daniele's mother and father there, with their younger children and surrounded by friends and family. They are so sad, of course. But their faith is strong and they have so much support. It is unimaginable what has happened. What is even more unimaginable is to live through and after something as horrible as having your beautiful young daughter die so tragically. Somehow, with God's help, I'm sure, they will find a way.

I guess it would be too much to expect that youngsters will stop driving ATVs. Perhaps Daniele's tragedy will inspire more safety in their use, the wearing of a helmet, and a reminder that life is a gift.

18 comments:

laurie said...

I'm so sad for your family. Please accept my condolences. I hope happy memories of Danielle are able to erase some of the pain you all are feeling now.

Mrs. Staggs said...

I have no words...but I send love to you and to your family during this time Amy.

moki said...

I'm so sorry...my mother in law died from extreme brain trauma from a motorcycle accident.
I hope the family begins to mend soon...it's a hard thing to lose someone but maybe even more so when it happens so suddenly.

Heather said...

My heart is heavy hearing of your family's loss. My thoughts and prayers will be with you all. And Amy, if I might say, you seem like such a blessing to your family. The way you love them and show us how special they are to you through your blog. Blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your family, you are all in our prayers.
My husband had a cousin, 16, who we lost in a car accident, and it's so hard to have someone so young, so vibrant, no longer be there. My heart goes out to all of you.
~Angie~

Whim Of The Week said...

Dear Amy, what a kind, loving person you are. God bless you as you tend to your family. Prayers for strength and for God's great blanket of Love to cover you all.

Glenda *hug*

Anonymous said...

Dear Amy, you are so supportive and kind. I'm sorry that you had to go to such a sad funeral for a young girl. When these things happen it doesn't seem fair that one so young would be taken.

Anonymous said...

you don't know me, but i couldn't let your post go by without saying something. your blog is one of my daily visits. the way you talk about those close to you is so refreshing. the love you have for your family and friends is a part of all that you do. your love and caring for others shines through your blog and through the beautiful work you do for others. this post is just an example. the way you discribled the mother crying is just so real and honest. i hope that one day the family can read what you have written, and be touched by your expression of their vulerability. thank you for sharing happy times and more importantly how you share in heart ache.

June said...

It is heart-wrenching, that is for sure. I'm so glad that your family has each other, the community and church to help you all through this horrid, horrid time. My prayers are for all of you.

jenny said...

Amy,
I am so sorry to hear about your family's loss. Please accept my condolences. My thoughts & prayers are with you & with Daniele's family.

mo said...

I am so deeply sorry that your family has to endure what has got to be the most trying and sad thing , the loss of a child. I will pray and hope for all of you.

Anonymous said...

My friend, all of the strongest thoughts of peace and condolences to you and your family. xoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

My Deepest Sympathy to you and your family after such a terrible tragedy,my prayers are with you.
Leonie

Tiffany said...

My heart goes out to you and your whole family. And I pray for the happy memories of such a sweet young girl to out-weigh the sadness in her parents' hearts.

Alicia P. said...

Oh sweetheart. I'm so, so sorry.

Jody said...

Hello Amy, I too am a blogger who stops by on occasion and I would like to extend my sympathies to your family and Daniele's family as well. Unfortunately, I can say that I understand their grief and sorrow in a bigger way. My family and I are living life five years out from an unexpected tragedy which injured all of us and claimed the life of our four-yr old daughter, Teagan.
Her death has changed my life forever, and since July 2001, I have lived and learned more than I ever thought I could in one lifetime about death, faith, grief, and more importantly- living beyond the pain to find joy and happiness in life again.
I would love to have you stop by my blog and read some of the posts I have written as to how I live life now- from day to day. I treasure my kids and family and have learned to see the beauty in the wolrd around me through eyes of tears at times. Christmas, especially, is a time of remembering and dreaming, and I know it will be a time of much sorrow as Daniele's family misses her presence and smile more than they ever could have imagined this year. I will ache for their longing as I go through this holiday season. If you click on my complete profile there is a link to my web page. That is a lengthy article and pictures of our family and Teagan and the tragedy we have endured. We have been blessed with two little girls since Teagan's death, adn we continue to tell our story (even appeared as guests on the Oprah Show) in hopes that we can share Teagan's life and our experiences with others. It has not been an easy road to walk- but I would like to offer hope to you and Daniele's family, that they can CHOOSE how to handle their grief. Embracing it has been the best thing I have done for myself and the rest of my family. And to cling to the hope that we will see Teagan in Heaven someday is my greatest incentive and drive in my life.
I wish for each of you comfort and peace this season. And I will remember Daniele in a special way. One more note...there is a beautiful Christmas song titled 'If I Could Have One Wish...' and I can't help but think of Daniele now. Some of the words are-
"If I had one wish this Christmas, I'd wish that you were here with me. Another chance to hear your laughter, another smile I'd get to see"...
it's through the Joyful Child Foundation in memory of Samantha Runnion. Maybe a copy of this song would be a special gift this year. Just a thought. Again, my deepest sympathies and my greatest hopes for all of you as you face Christmas without Daniele this year. I am sorry for your pain and loss.
Sweetly~ Jody Ferlaak

Coleen said...

You wrote that with such detail and sincere heartbreak that I am sitting here crying myself. I cannot imagine (nor do I want to) how painful it must be for the family. Death is never easy but it is much more painful when it cuts short the life of someone so young. My thoghts are with you all.

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