Neither Thad or I, felt we could talk at her funeral nor did we know what it was we could say about her, even if we could pull it together to talk. She never lived but in my womb and we wished there was something meaningful we could say about her. But even still, she did have meaning and she gave us something even if it wasn't obvious. I then instead decide to write a letter to those present, letting them in on what our souls were saying, even though it wasn't obvious through the tears in our eyes.
I share with you now because in my darker days, I think back about the meaning of my daughter's life... and it was about love.
The following is the letter I wrote to be read by the priest at her funeral on our behalf:
Our Dear Friends and Family,
When we look out and see all of your faces, we see love. We see the love you have for us and the love you have for Gabriella. When you look back at this experience one day we want you to take away from it the love in this church. While Gabriella’s existence and death, to us, maybe confusing, it is important to us that her conception, her life in Nicole’s womb and even ultimately her death, was not in vain. This is not a time to question God, this is a time to rejoice in God’s love, and the love Gabriella has clearly brought to each of us. When you remember our daughter, when you remember our family please try not to remember the sorrow, please do not think of us with pity, remember the love. Remember the faith and love we have for one another and the love we have for each of you. God has brought our baby girl home. If you want to honor our angel whom we, even as her parents, barely knew, then take this experience and lead your lives in faith, forgiveness and love.
With the sincerest gratitude,Thad & Nicole
Read at the Funeral Mass of Gabriella Eve Chapman
St. Patrick’s Church,
- December 23, 2010 Bay Shore, NY