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I love the poem I wrote for the back of Claudia's funeral program. The poem really pulls together so much of how I felt, but the reason this is so special, is the way in which it came about. During those days before the funeral, I was in a constant blur. My family and friends took over and made everything just happen which I was so grateful for! But, I wanted a special piece to say something more about Claudia for her program. I needed something more than the typical template. There was a book I loved called Guess How Much I Love You which I read to my children all of the time. I wanted this to be part of her program, so, somehow, someone got a photo of the book and used it for the front of Claudia's program. I woke up one morning, to the noise of people gathering in my kitchen. I grabbed a scratch piece of paper and furiously started writing a poem about Claudia. The words flowed so quickly out of my mind, I had a challenge just getting them down on paper. It was a very strange experience. I really believe a higher power was helping me, it just came together so beautifully and perfect.

Our Dearest Claudia

Our sweet, precious angel,

We long to hear your voice.

We want to hold you in our arms,

We do not have a choice.

Our hearts are filled with sadness,

Aching with so much pain;

Why were we dealt this tragedy?

Impossible to explain.

We had so much to teach you,

To walk and run and sing;

If we could have you back with us,

We'd give just anything.

Your golden curls of sunshine

Bounced upon your head.

The days without your smiling face

Is something we will dread.

We shared you with so many

They all feel empty too;

We long for the time

When we'll be back with you.

The memories we have of you

We'll hold onto very tight;

Be safe and warm and happy,

As we pray for you every night.

To this day, I can not read this without crying. It truly sums it all up. And every night for well over a year, I would say to Claudia those words just before I went to sleep: Be Safe and Warm and Happy.

My friend Jackie gave me another poem that I loved and found helpful to see the bigger picture:

A Child Loaned

~ Edgar Guest

"I'll lend you for a little time

A child of Mine." He said.

For you to love the while he lives,

And mourn for when he's dead.

It may be six or seven years

Or twenty-two or three,

But will you, till I call him back,

Take care of him for me?

He'll bring his charms to gladden you,

And should his stay be brief,

You'll have his memories

As solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay

Since all from earth return,

But there are lessons taught down there

I want this child to learn.

I've looked this wide world over

In my search for teachers true,

And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,

I have selected you;

Now will you give him all your love,

Nor think the labour vain,

Nor hate Me when I come to call

And take him back again?

I fancied that I heard them say

"Dear Lord, thy will be done,

For all the joy thy child shall bring,

For the risk of grief we'll run.

We'll shelter him with tenderness,

We'll love him while we may,

And for the happiness we've known,

Forever grateful stay.

But should the angels call for him

Much sooner than we planned,

We'll brave the bitter grief that comes

And try to understand."


I love this poem by Whitney Hanson.. I listen to it over and over. It is so true. We've had to endure the immeasurable pain of grief with the passing of our daughter but within that horrible experience is also a gift of knowing a deep, intense love.  Many will never know this. Because of that knowing,  we cherished every moment of raising our surviving children, always being present in their lives, never missing an event or time to be together and we are extremely close because of that. For that I will always be grateful. 

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