Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Not just a box...

This is probably the most difficult post I've ever tried to put into words. The photo doesn't begin to capture what I wish to share and nothing could have ever prepared me for getting such a package in the mail. Inside the box are Teagan's remains. They were sent from the funeral home where Teagan was cremated and have been kept there for nearly 10 years. Last week they came- registered mail. We knew they would be arriving as a result of the home changing some things up and we've known for almost 10 years that we would have to make a decision of what to do with the contents of such a box. Still, nothing prepares you for getting such a package. It now sits on a shelf with some miscellaneous storage items until we can finally make a decision on how, when and where to inter Teagan's remains.
Let me just say that my heart aches all over again for the life Teagan lived and how short it was. My heart hurts at how sudden she was gone and it hurts at how often- even now- something in my day reminds me of her or wishes her back to experience something she never got the chance to do. The wound of losing her feels fresh and stabbing when I look at that box. Yet I know she's gone from this earth forever and my heart still rejoices at the thought of reuniting with her in Heaven again. Someday.
But for now, the reality of what we had, what we loved, what brought so much joy, and what really remains after losing Teagan is a tough thing to grasp. At the time of Teagan's death it was an 'easy decision' for Chip and I to have her tiny body creamated. She looked practically perfect- even though she sustained fatal injuries in our incident. But because Wyndham was so critically ill and not expected to survive her injuries, and because Chip was hospitalized for a few weeks at that time too, it was a simple choice to have her cremated. We then had two different memorial services for Teagan about a month after her death- and one another month later back 'home' in Minnesota with family and friends.
We never dreamed as a young couple starting our family and careers that we would need to make a decision about what to do at the time of the death of a child. Our lives were so full of promise and it wasn't something that ever crossed our minds. Even as we had recently had a scare and nearly lost Wyndham. Just 6 months earlier. I think we felt invinceable. We weren't the "kind of people" that tragedy happened too. Those were the people we read about in the papers and watched on nightly news.
But here we are. Ten years later wondering what will we do next with a box that holds a huge piece of our hearts. There are lots of options in place. But none of them seems right to us yet. We're leaning most toward one day taking our family to the ocean- where Teagan ran and splashed and laughed and played when we lived in Florida- and spreading her ashes out across the waves.
For now, my heart is tender and moved to think that the energetic, blond-haired, blue-eyed girl that sang and danced circles around me and everyone she met could end up in a tiny box that came shipped to our home via registered mail. My world feels oh so upside-down at times. Yet I still cling to the promise that yes, we WILL see her again. That yes, there IS more to this life than that which our eyes can see. And when I close my eyes and feel the tears begin to well in them and a lump inches up in my neck making it hard for me to breathe, I remind myself that she was mine. I held her, loved her, kissed her, danced with her, sang with her, blew bubbles with her, had Coke floats with her, pushed her on the swings and rolled out pie dough with her. We ate apples and rhubarb and lobster and cupcakes and Tootsie Rolls and chocolate chip pancakes together. We fell asleep in each other's arms and together felt safe and happy and ready to take on whatever the world would send our way.
We may have gotten Teagan's remains in the mail last week. But in my heart I know her spirit still soars and that makes my heartache a tiny bit more bearable. Until we meet again.

33 comments:

Lauren said...

Jody, I have no words! Thinking of you and I think the ocean would be the perfect place!!! Something about the ocean is so calming and peaceful and as I’m looking out into the ocean, is when I feel closest to God. I think she would be happy with that!!

Be the change... said...

Jody, you are amazing. So is Teagan. Thank you for sharing...my heart is hugging you both.

Anonymous said...

No words, Tears were falling within seconds of ready. I CAN'T IMAGINE what your feeling. Many flights and hugs sent to you, love Christal

harmonysong said...

I can't even begin to know what it feels like to receive such mail. Your memories with her are beautiful! So glad the Lord has allowed you to hold on to them and to have the promise of seeing her again. Still such a hard thing to grieve. Praying you can decide what to do with her ashes and that it will bring you peace.

Cheryl said...

My heart just aches for you. Deep sorrow fills my soul for you to have lost Teagan.

I am sorry that you are now in a position to have to think about what to do with her remains.

((hugs))
With love and Hope,
Cheryl

Anonymous said...

Dear, dear Jody! I wish I could just hug you right now. What a post you made....the grief you have had in your life! As I was reading though the words of the song "Come to Jesus, talk to Jesus".....just seemed to be the right background to have for this post. Teagan is in a place where time isn't a factor and for her it will be like a nano-second when she sees her parents again. Unfortunately for us we do live in "time" and it is sometimes a very long endurance for us. The one thing you and I share is...the "blessed hope".

Blessings to you dear one...and a big huge hug!!!

Kristin Stegent said...

I ache just reading your post and I have never experienced anything remotely close. I cannot imagine the emotion and pain...

May He wrap you up and hold you when it just feels too much to bare.

You are loved!

Southern Gal said...

No words. You are an amazing woman. The Lord bless you, Jody.

Jan B said...

Oh, Jody. I can't imagine it. My heart hurts for you. My eyes spring tears for you. I pray God will just hold you today.... ♥♥♥

Hall Family in MD said...

((Hugs)) You always have a beautiful way of expressing your grief and anticipation of seeing Teagan again with such love and grace. I cannot imagine what it must've been like to get that package, but you continue to amaze me with your strength.

k8 said...

dear jody - how my heart aches for you. may your strength and faith in God continue to lift you until you and teagan are together again. Every day you show me how to live with faith....

k8

Rachel said...

WOW I am speechless. Just another reminder to love my little girls better and play with them more. Praying for you and Chip as you figure out the best way to honor your precious firstborn.
Hugs and Prayers
Rachel in TN

Anonymous said...

dear Jody, what a burden we mother's carry for the rest of our lives. It's inconceivable this death stuff, it's so unnatural and cruel and ugly. You're handling it well, I'd say God is tenderly looking down on your family right now and he grieves with you. Find some really comforting Psalms and go over and over them. Personally I don't know if I could spread my son's remains over the ocean. He's buried somewhere special and even though I know "he's not there", there's still a part of him that is there, here on this earth, and I can visit that site if I want to even though I hardly ever go there anymore. I used to lay on the grave to feel close to him. But each person is individual, so I'm sure you'll do what's best for you.
May God envelope you with the comfort only He can give. I don't think it will be too much longer until we see them again, things are just looking that way here on this old crummy earth. Jan K

lora said...

Jody, I will be praying for you all day today. May God bless you and give you direction...You are an amazing woman and mother!
hugs,
lora

Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn said...

Wow! That was a tough one to read. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

jenny said...

Oh, Jody, you write so beautifully even about the most painful things. I pray God's peace for you and Chip and your children today and every day. Thanks for sharing your heart. God bless.

Loveday's Day said...

No words, just prayers from Alabama. I cannot imagine what you have gone through.

Anonymous said...

Jody - Just wanted to know that you are in my thoughts. I'm sending hugs and sunshine (through the snow) to you today. Take Care. God Bless You. Heidi from Gaylord

Veronica said...

Jody,

I had to digest what you wrote for a day....and go through the emotions...of course not on the level that you have to....you are amazing....and you need to allow yourself the time to go through the emotions of the reality of the decision making you need to go through.

May God grant you the peace that you need to know you are doing the right thing.

Veronica

Allison Hillberry said...

I just stumbled upon your post, I'm a mom too and my heart just aches for you...I'm so glad that you know our wonderful Savior and I am praying for the spirits comfort for you and your family. I don't know how anyone survives life's heartaches without God.
Thank you for sharing your heart

Allison Hillberry said...

I just stumbled upon your post, I'm a mom too and my heart just aches for you...I'm so glad that you know our wonderful Savior and I am praying for the spirits comfort for you and your family. I don't know how anyone survives life's heartaches without God.
Thank you for sharing your heart

Kelley said...

There are no words. Just tears and prayers for you and your family.

Marie said...

Jody, I can't even imagine what you and Chip are going through. All I can say is God is right with you and He will tell you what to do with precious Teagan because she is already with Him.Hugs and prayers are being sent your way. I wished I lived closer so I could hear your spoken words of healing and love for Him. Your courage helps many woman...God Bless you Jody.

Sarah Moran said...

Oh, Jody. I get this. I get this! I am so sorry! Nothing is right about your child's physical body in a stupid cardboard box. Times like these call for grasping the intellectual truth we sometimes cannot feel--the whole Bible is true! It is all true! He is everything He says He is! He WILL redeem it all! You WILL eat chocolate chip pancakes and blow bubbles and cradle your child again. Maybe it will be soon? Maybe Jesus is coming back for us soon... Crying with you. Praying for you today. May Easter's power swallow up the earthly reminders of death's sting. Thank you for responding to my comment earlier this week. Maybe my post "The Gold Seal" will help you know you are not alone? www.aconfidenthope.com

In Christ,
Sarah Moran (another mama on the road to Heaven...)

Janna said...

Oh my gosh Jody... I don't even know what to say! I'm sure, seeing that box reminded you all over again about how great a loss it was for you, Chip and your family to lose Teagan so tragically. And although I know you are well aware that Teagan is alive and well in heaven, getting that box in the mail containing her cremated remains must have knocked the wind out of you! I can't even imagine the reality of what you're feeling. I just know that the pain is raw all over again, from the words that you wrote, and I am praying for you guys!

There's a new book out called "Heaven is for Real"... have you read it? It really warmed my heart and brought me joy because it made tangible the knowledge that our loved ones are there in perfect peace and joy! You WILL see Teagan again! That's not a pipe dream or a fantasy... that is God's PROMISE for His children.

You are such an inspiration to so many people Jody! You have persevered through the worst of tragedies that anyone could imagine, and you still shine with optimism, faith and love. I know you're dealing with some really heavy struggles right now. Please pour out your heart to the Lord and leave your burdens at the foot of the cross. This weekend especially is such a perfect time to do that! Happy Easter to you and your family and God bless! You are prayed for by countless people!

Vanessa Paris Photography said...

No words, just love. From one Mum to another xxx

erinz said...

Hugs, hugs, hugs.

jsprik said...

as i sit here crying, i FEEL your pain. it has been 6 (almost 7) years since my 10 year old son(eli) went to heaven (car accident, someone ran a stop sign and hit us). there is not a day that goes by that i don't think of him and what a blessing he was to me. the only thing that gets me through when the pain is so bad that it makes my heart physically hurt, is the fact that i know i will see him again someday in heaven. i think the ocean is a great place to spread teagans ashes!!

God bless you and your family...({hugs}} and prayers...

mimisherry said...

Dearest Jody....Oh how my heart aches for you. No one can imagine such a delivery (unless they too have gone thru such a tragedy!). I pray that you will be at peace at whatever you decide to do with her ashes in rememberance of her sweet spirit and life.
I pray that you will be comforted and your heart lifted by the One who holds your little girls hand right now in heaven.
Love & Blesings to you! XO <3

Anonymous said...

dearest jody,
my heart truly aches for you. But i also want to say that one line you wrote jumped out. She was yours. You wrote, she was mine. And how lucky you were.
i sat in the coffee shop this morning adoring my little boy while we ate bagels. He is 4. I wish i could memorize everything about him at this age. And the whole breakfast, a mother next to me with two beautiful little girls was on the cell phone the whole breakfast. The littlest girl about age 3, practically begged for her attention ....and never got it. I wanted to reach out to that mother and say ohhhh sweetheart, they are little for such a short time. .....
Teagan was yours. She was yours for a reason; because you had such love & attention to give to her. She was rich in her love from you. I know nothing can comfort you, but i still wanted to send you some love and to commend you for being such a great mother to all of your children. God Bless you every single day.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you, sweet sister in Christ.

Mary-Elizabeth said...

You inspire me Jody. I came across your blog as I was googling for baking blogs and I just have to say that from the small amounts of your posts that I have read that you are inspiring. You love Jesus with your whole heart and how you have clung to HIm over the last 10 yrs is so very apparent. Thankyou for reminding me to treasure every day with my little ones and not forget that tragedy can come at any instant. In HIm