Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bye, River!

Today was a very emotional day for the family. We laid River to rest in the Shrine of St. Therese. The Requiem Mass was a small, very personal affair with just family in attendance. Bang gave the kids parts in the ceremony, in remembrance of River. Reese, Rielle and Raegan were readers, Rogan assisted Fr. Benny, and the rest were offerors.

Bang had initially laid River in a temporary vault when she arrived from Cebu. Today was a formal affair, with the inurnment taking place in the Remembering Chapel. River was the first occupant of the La Chapelle Des Roses in the Columbarium.

Before the Mass, I innocently asked Bang if I could take out the tape holding the lid of River's urn. She said yes, I took it out. Lai wanted to see River's remains and I took it out. I never even thought about how Bang would feel when she saw her baby. When I glanced at her, her eyes were welling with tears and that was all that was needed for ME to start tearing, too. Sigh! From then on, it was almost non-stop crying.

From the previewing of River's bones, to the songs chosen by Bang for the Mass, to the laying of flowers by River's urn. Seeing Boydee and Bang crying was already heartbreaking, but for me to see Mom and Dad (Dad especially) being so emotional, that was something. Got me thinking that really, life can be so cruel. Nature dictates that the young bury the old, not the other way around. I can just imagine Dad thinking that. It's hard enough for parents, but what more of GRANDparents? Of GREAT-GRANDparents? Unfair, yes, definitely.

But it is God's will. And only He can say why He chose to take River so early. We never got to know what this little angel would be like. All we know is that she is in heaven, watching over all of us, especially her Kuya Bric and her parents.

Yes, we took pictures. Someday, I'm sure, Bang and Boydee will ask for them. When they have had time to cope. When they have healed, when they are at peace. Someday, they will ask for the photos, and the photos will be waiting for them.

Another heart-wrenching scene was when Boydee spoke after the Mass. He shared their journey with River. The dark times, the scary times. Of when they were trying to decide to let River have her time in Bang's womb. Of their decision, of how they arrived at their decision.

I wrote in a message board that the both of them, Boydee and Bang, have been an inspiration. An inspiration of faith, pillars of strength, true people of God. They didn't opt for the easy way out; they prayed for guidance, and they were given guidance. Would I have done the same? I don't know. It's a hard thing to do, and I don't know if I would have had the strength, the faith and the perseverance to do what they have done. All I can say is that having a miscarriage is waaay easier than having your little one die in your arms. I don't think I can bear that.

Seeing that little urn was just enough to bring me to tears. Thinking of what Boydee and Bang went through.....they are in God's grace for sure.

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