Monday, September 17, 2012

Memorial Service - 9/9/12

I need to jot down the specifics of all the was done at the service so that I will never forget...never forget the specific details that were planned just for Vienne and all the amazing people who rushed to make it perfect in 2 short days. 
We were told that around 500 people showed up to honor our beautiful daughter's life.  I am astounded by the number.  We tried to tell everyone to wear her favorite colors - blue and green.  I did not notice, of course, but I have heard that the chapel was an ocean of blue and green. 
There is a precious memory of mine that is stemmed from the blue and green hydrangeas that filled the chapel.  The night before Vienne was ripped from my life, she and Mark went on a little walk.  She was dressed all up in her new Cinderella dress and matching plastic click-clack shoes.  Her hair was twisted up in a bun and she was wearing a string of my pearls.  She was soooooooo breathtakingly beautiful.  I stood in the window and just watched her slowly click clack down the sidewalk with Daddy.  She kept pointing up at the sky and I remember that I thought I should take a picture of this.  She was on a hunt to pick flowers for me.  My thoughtful, sweet, loving girl.  When they eventually came back home, she comes in with her excited, yet mischievous grin, holding something behind her back.  She tells me to close my eyes because she has a surprise.  She gently lays a beautiful blue hydrangea in my hands.  She was so excited that she found some flowers that were her favorite color.  She always melted my heart.  Thank you to Brooke for collecting the hundreds of hydrangeas for my sweet sweet girl.

Our talented sister in law, Kinsey, composed the most beautiful video montage of photos and home movies.  Each time we watch it, it brings gut wrenching sobs.  Oh, she was so beautiful and full of joy and life.  Kinsey also designed and printed hundreds of beautiful "programs" for the service.  She worked so hard, nonstop, all weekend long...through her shock and grief.

A day after Vienne's passing, we heard that John Bruce, a man from my mom and stepdad's church, was so moved by her loss that he started to write a song for her.  By saturday, he recorded it so that it could be played at her service.  He would've loved to sing it live, but his emotion was too strong.  Beautiful Vienne - it was played at the service while the picture of her dressed up as a "Princess Fairy Rainbow" was displayed on the screen.  It was perfect.

My stepfather, Tom, read a letter from my Mom.  My sister in law, Kinsey, read my letter through a compassionate mother's tears.  My brother in law, Jeremy, read a letter from my sister, Kate.  And, Mark shared his most lovely and heartfelt words with a strength even I didn't know he had.

Our Pastor Bob Hyatt from our church, The Evergreen Community, delivered an appropriate and powerful homily.

The service was concluded by my sister in law, Becky, singing the lullaby that I sang to Vienne and sing to Ivy now - Tell Me WhyIt was emotional and tender.  Perfect.

Green frosted chocolate cupcakes were made and contributed by many, served with Sleepy Monk coffee.

The line of people that wanted to hug me and share their tears was staggering and overwhelming, to say the least.  But, I really wanted to see who all was there.  Feeling their sympathetic pain, helped me to express my own deep deep sorrow.

One of the worst days of my life.  But I am so overwhelmingly appreciative for the selfless work that was rushed to put this together in such a short amount of time so that all who had flown in could come to the service.  I will be forever grateful. 


  1. Jenny - we are grieving with you, and I agree with you about Vienne's service. It was such a beautiful tribute to a little girl who clearly captured everyone's hearts. Praying for you as you grieve and try to move forward.

  2. Jenny,
    I was there with my Mom and Sister. They had not met you before but your story, Vienne's story captured them and they wanted to be there to support you. We had to leave as soon as it was over so I was not able to go give you a hug.
    All of the wonderful people filling a beautiful church with music and photos, it was a love that was chilling to the bone. I was sitting in the very back row and the image of you walking to front of the church will never fade in my mind. Your strength is inspiring. Your beautiful dress, hair perfect holding sweet Ivy, it was insane. Thank you for letting us be a part of her memorial.
    I pray for you everyday Jenny. I wake up in the middle of the night praying for you. Your love for your daughter is and has always been overwhelming. You make me try harder with my own kids, have more patience and I tell my son stories about Sweet Vienne. You are an amazing Mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you always hun.

  3. I am so glad you took a second to write down these memories (even though I know it was oh so hard...) Praying for you my friend! xoxo

  4. Thank you, ladies. Such sweet words. Your loves and prayers are felt.

  5. Jenny, we don't know each other, but I just heard about your precious Vienne through another mom on Facebook who sadly lost her young daughter. I just wanted to say that my heart is heavy for you as I write this. I have a 2 year old son, and another son due this December. The photos of your little girl are just beautiful. This is my last pregnancy, but if I could have a daughter, I would want her to be just like Vienne. Through tears I watched the video you had shared. Vienne has touched my heart with her beautiful smile and playful spirit. May God's loving embrace comfort you and your family in the days ahead. And may your memories of Vienne sustain you until you both meet again. Hugs from California.

  6. For very many, the news and the implications are more regrettable.