A good support network is one of the most important things you can have in a trial such as this. My family, friends, and church family went way above and beyond the call of duty. God has a lot of blessings to start pouring out on these people!! I personally believe the most important thing to have is a knowledge of who our Heavenly Father is, how much He truly loves us, and what His eternal plan is. Knowing that I would see Hailey again one day and that she is happier there than here was really all I needed to help me keep moving forward. Secondly, after having a knowledge of this, you need to firmly believe it and have faith in it. This is literally what has kept me going. Knowing that my daughter is safe and happy, in paradise, with other family that have gone on before her, and with our Father in Heaven, has brought me more peace than I can even explain. She will deal with no more pain, sickness, gagging, etc! She is free of all that! What a blessing for her. I have a strong suspicion that what we see as a tragedy, she sees as a miraculous blessing.
A couple days later we went to the mortuary to pick out Hailey's bed (casket). We decided to call it a bed instead of a casket. Although this was a heart wrenching experience, my family was once again there for me. Believe it or not, we even found ourselves laughing. As we sat and talked about what we wanted to leave in her bed with her, we were laughing that by the time we were done putting stuff in there someone would have to sit on it like an overstuffed suitcase to get it to close. Also, someone in my family (I'll keep nameless) wanted to get into the "beds" and try them out to be sure they were comfortable.
Next we went to pick out a plot at the cemetery. I literally felt like I was walking outside of my body. I have driven through that cemetery many, many times before. A family who lives nearby here lost all 3 of their children (ages 5, 4,and 2) in a car accident a couple years back. I mourned and cried for them many times and every time I would pass by the cemetery, I would cut through there and visit them. Now, here I was bringing my own daughter here. When we pulled up there were two girls there about my age sitting on a blanket next to one of the stones. After picking out the perfect spot for Hailey...in the children's section, right underneath a beau'ful tree, we started talking to the two girls there. They had both lost children and met there while visiting. Now they go together every Thursday. I could tell that they had lost children just by the way they talked about Hailey. They seemed to remember everything I said about her and would then use her name and the little things I told them about her when they would talk to me. It was comforting to know that they recognized that my daughter is not just a little girl that died, but she was a person, loved with all her heart...Hailey and her life mattered.
Luckily, amidst the fog that I was walking through, I didn't have to do much else but grieve. People were at my house cooking, taking care of my other girls, cleaning, helping with the funeral plans, running errands, doing my laundry, etc. I don't know what I would have done without all those of you who helped me out. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Once everything was planned we had to wait a day before we were able to go see Hailey for the first time since all this happened. I was so nervous, yet so excited to see my baby girl again. It was almost as if I was going to pick her up from being at Grammy and Grampies for the weekend to bring her home again. It sounds weird to have excitement for a viewing, but I just wanted to see her again so bad. I craved to see her little face and body and be in the same room as her.