On February 10th, we held a graveside service for our little Mara. I won’t lie, the days leading up to her service were stressful. Contacting funeral homes, calculating costs, finding a good time, finding a plot. It was way too many adult decisions for my liking. The few days before, it seemed like nothing was going according to plan. I kept thinking, “Planning a funeral shouldn’t be this hard–or this expensive! Especially for a baby!” All we wanted was something simple and special to honor our baby. Just as things were starting to feel hopeless, we yet again were on the receiving end of a series of little miracles. Through generous donations of time, money, and kindness we planned the perfect little ceremony. We are forever grateful to the people at Legacy Funeral Home and our beloved friends and family for making this possible.
The morning of the graveside I went out and bought some flowers and greenery to make a little casket spray. The funeral home had given us some names of florists, but it was something I really wanted to do myself. It felt so special to be able to create something for my daughter, and it was a rather therapeutic way to spend the morning, making something beautiful to brighten up a difficult day. Juan and I drove to the funeral home an hour or so before to spend our last moments with Mara. The funeral home director was so kind to and had everything ready for us. He helped us make cards with her handprints on it and wrap her in the special blankets we had brought. My dear Uncle John made the most perfect wooden casket for her, for which we will be forever grateful. We shared some last incredibly special, incredibly hard moments holding her and then placed her inside along with the shoes we’d used to announce our pregnancy and a little hat made by my sister-in-law Karla. It was heartbreaking, but again, it was moments where I’ve never felt so close to my husband. As we made our way to the cemetery, I was flooded with every emotion. Sorrow, relief, pain, peace. There were few moments harder than watching Juan carry the little casket over to where all our family members were waiting for us. But seeing some many people who were there to love and support us…there’s no feeling like it. It was a short and powerful service. We sang a hymn, said a prayer and then my Dad and the Bishop said a few words. I’m so grateful to them for their sweet and timely words. My Dad spoke about the plan of Salvation, and how this was an opportunity for us to realign ourselves with God, so that someday we would be able to be with her again. Our bishop mentioned that Mara will always be an inspiration for us for good. That our other children would know her and be inspired by her as well. I loved that. And know it’s true.
We concluded with Juan dedicating her grave. I know this moment was incredibly hard for him, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my husband who holds the priesthood. I don’t remembering everything, but I remember him praying for the comfort and peace for our family, especially for Mara’s mother. That meant everything to me. Absolutely everything. We were so grateful to everyone who come to support us and to love Mara. I’m especially grateful both of my sisters were able to come in from out of town and that we could all be together as a family!After the service we did a little ballon release. It seemed like such a small thing, but the simple symbolism was just what we needed. After a very hectic and odd week, it was the closer and relief that we’d be searching for. Special thanks to my Aunt Bee for making it possible!While it was an incredibly hard day, the love we felt was like none other. It was the perfect day for our perfect baby. And I know that Heavenly Father’s plan is perfect. That Mara is perfect. That Juan and I are perfect for each other. And in the end, this is something that will stay with us forever and in turn make us a little more perfect.