happy 4th birthday Florence Marigold!
On Saturday we celebrated you, Florence Marigold. It was supposed to rain all day, but guess what? The sun came out! It always has on your birthday party.
We wrote in the book that was at your celebration of life and also on banners that we have hung on our wall. We wrote happy birthday notes and love notes and “I miss you” notes.
We had cake and we sang Happy Birthday to you! The room was filled with daffodils, the birth flower of March. The month you were born!
There were little butterfly tattoos for all of our guests to apply. I know you would have loved them!
We lit sparklers and took time to gaze upon some of your treasures and remember you.
We watched a slideshow about your life and listened to some of your favourite songs. We cried a lot.
We blew lots of bubbles and gathered in a circle to share how you have impacted our lives.
We hung your Tinkerbell stuffie and your 3rd birthday dress in the living room, and the F-L-O banner that used to be in your bedroom.
We wrote love notes to you on balloons and released them to the heavens. We played “Forever Young” by Joan Baez, one of my favourite Flo songs, and I tilted my head back so far and cried so hard, I felt like I would fall over. I could feel you, right there, in my tears and in the sunshine. And yet releasing the balloons was like releasing you all over again. I never ever want to let you go. It hurts every time I do.
All of these things made us feel closer to you, Florence.
We must always remember and celebrate and mourn those that we have lost. Especially our children. Whether they are born still or live to be three years old, they all matter. Our village gathered around us, both in spirit, in the flesh and online, and they have wrapped us up in their love and support. It is the greatest gift, to be able to share and have our family and friends stand with us and bear witness.
Rituals help us take the time to remember. They help us heal, mourn, celebrate and embrace the grief that has impacted us all.
Happy Birthday, dear Florence.
We miss you and love you and celebrate you.
Thank you for being our little girl.
In honour of Florence’s birthday, consider making a donation to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice on Flo’s fundraising page or to Families of SMA Canada or The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation.
Florence and Charlie’s 10K to end SMA will be held August 7th at Second Beach in Vancouver BC. All are welcome to run, walk, roll 10K or less. Details can be found here.
Photos by Tina Francis. @teenbug