When Lilly died we received about a dozen beautiful bouquets of flowers. (Not counting several plants.) I kept them all around us in the house until they began dying and shedding everywhere. So we put them on the front porch. Even though the flowers were all dead, I loved them as they were given in honor of Lilly.
Finally even I had to agree with the rest of my family that it was time for them to be cleaned off the porch. They were just making too big a mess. So earlier this week I took a trash bag out and began emptying the vases. One of my close friends, C. and her twin girls, were visiting and it helped me emotionally having them outside with us while I worked. I pulled out some of the dried dead flowers to save as they still looked so beautiful. And we now have them in the kitchen.
I was excited to receive a package in the mail that same day. It was an angel ornament that was personalized with "Lilly." The card with it gave me happy tears. It said "I love my mommy, and I want her to know I have my wings." (Thank you to my thoughtful husband for helping Lilly with the order!)
Yesterday I heard that my nephew J.L. got really upset and angry when he saw an ambulance, because he thought an ambulance had taken Lilly away to heaven and he wanted her back with us.
As I thought about his reaction, I remembered that anger is supposed to be a normal part of the process of grieving. I also thought about how I've talked about this with my husband and daughter T. None of us feel any anger at Lilly's passing away. I think it is because:
1) we believe God's timing in all things is perfect
2) we have so much gratitude that Lilly lived 529 days - so so much longer than most children with Trisomy 18
It is a relief to be spared the emotion of anger in this. There's enough to deal with.