It's been just over one week since we said our goodbyes to our deer sweet Henibean.
It was such a beautiful day..... and a send off that she would have approved of. In fact I think she may have been orchestrating the whole affair from her mansions above!
I was going to chose autumnal colours but somehow we ended up with a beautiful shade of antique pink/lilac... flowers in her favourite colours!
... and her church service and short committal service at the crematorium was followed by herbal tea with canapés and cakes... a proper girl party!
Even the memory tree was something that we hadn't considered ....but felt inspired to do at the last minute.... a lovely way to collect lots of treasured memories from our family and freinds about their recollections of H and how she touched their lives...
Even the beautiful dove release to Coldplays "flock of birds" felt fitting ... we released one lone dove followed by a flock of 11 others..... they all reunited in the sky as they circled our heads and then flew on home.....and as they did we sensed that she had only flown ahead temporarily to one day be reunited with us as we all fly next to her....
We were surrounded by family and friends who poured out love and concern, and shared our tears and our laughter on this our special day to mourn, remember and celebrate Heni with us.
She even sent us a beautiful sky that night to match her flowers... and to show everyone that as we look up to the heavens there is beauty... hope... and Peace.
I will always remember that beautiful day.... as I will always remember our beautiful Heni.....
Today, I thought that I would share with you some of the things that I said (as one of the speakers at the service)... and hope that within the words you may find some comfort that you need today amid your own trials...
We’ve been overwhelmed by the many, many lovely condolence messages that we have received... and a few things written in them have helped me personally over these last two weeks
Within one of them was a quotation by Russell M. Nelson.It said:-
“Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love. It is a natural response in complete accord with divine commandment, which states….
Thou shalt live together in love in so much that thou shalt weep for them that die”
I think that you can safely say that we love Heni a lot… and we've shed many a tear. This quotation gives us all license (both today and in the future)to show how much we love her and not be afraid to shed some tears.
Equally another poem that stood out in one of the cards was one that I had come across only a few months ago at another dear friends funeral.
You can shed a tear that she is gone
Or you can smile because she lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on
You can cry and close you mind
Be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she’d want:
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
Life is full of bittersweet moments and we all know in reality that both tears and smiles are part of it. Both are fitting and necessary. We can’t fully appreciate one without the other.
We’ve also received so many beautiful bouquets of flowers… each of which has conveyed love and brightened and cheered our home at this difficult time.
Over the two weeks I have noticed that some of the delicate flowers have only bloomed for a few short days and then withered and died… whereas other have lasted far longer than I though they would and are still going strong even now.
Those flowers made me smile and they also made me think of Heni … a different exquisite bloom that has beautified and cheered our home for over 21 years.
When we first learned about Heni’s condition before she was born, we thought that perhaps she would never get to blossom at all…and if she did, we thought it may only be for a few short hours, maybe days or at most a few months.
Amazingly... and Thankfully she surpassed all our expectations and has been able to bless our lives by her presence over all these years and has left us with many precious memories to cherish that we’ve experienced together
Another thing that has helped this past few weeks are four little words….
... "It could be worse"...
When you count up the ways in which life could be worse it adds a new perspective on the blessings that you’ve been blessed with..both in the past and currently.
· It could have been worse... Heni may never have been able to smile... but she did. She cheered us with her amazing smile that can melt any heart...And in doing so SHE made us smile…
· It could be worse... she might never have been able to show emotions... but she did. She cheered us with her contagious giggles and she could make me laugh on even the worst of days with her crazy cheeky personality.
· It could have been worse... She might have never had such a strong fighting spirit... She had a mind of her own and a will that was stronger than iron. She knew exactly what she wanted and didn’t want and I have no doubt that that fighting spirit helped her throughout her life and through the many difficult trials that she faced.
· It could have been worse... we might not have had all this time to get to know what a tease she was...She had a great ability to wind me up and know exactly how to frustrate me. And she would often say no when she really meant yes. Just for fun! She was always in control. As a matter of fact, A few years ago we bought Heni a t-shirt, which said on it “I may be small but I am the boss! And she was! She may have been small, but she had a giant spirit full of love.
· It could be worse... we may never have had the comforting doctrine of the gospel throughout her life and especially now. One scripture that I associate with Heni states:-
“Men are that they might have joy”. Heni was a "pro" at joy...she was the best example ever.
She had an ability to beam joy and pure unconditional love to everyone she met and in whatever circumstance she was in. Even in the midst of her worst health dips she could still smile and always showed loved and appreciation for the care that she received... even if it was by a sneaky hair pull or pinch!
She may have had many constraints on her physically while she lived here in her frail little body… limitations on her movement and what she could do for herself, But one thing that wasn’t limited was her joy.
She was mostly a very joyous, happy, fun loving person...one who was a great example to me of someone who can be smile even amidst all of her trials.
There are no words to truly describe how I feel about Heni...she may have been small but she was far too big for words.
She was…and still continues to be my hero and great example and I love her immensely. We have been greatly blessed by her presence in our lives and home.
She’s now moved on to greater challenges and adventures and is free of her frail little body. And I am forever grateful for the knowledge that we can be together again one day and see her again. I love the quotation by Elder Geoffrey R Holland: -
“I bear witness of that day when loved ones whom we knew to have disabilities in mortality will stand before us glorified and grand and breathtakingly perfect in body and mind.”
I can’t wait for the day when we can all see her without her earthly limitations. I look forward to that day with great joy and anticipation.
Until that time sweet Heni, we mourn your loss but also smile and celebrate your amazing life. We cherish the memories you have blessed us with...thank you for everything. Until we meet again...
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ