Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Many family and friends came to Brianna's funeral. Because we were in such grief, I did not think to take pictures. Actually, it made me so sad to think of taking pictures, because all I wanted to do was forget that my baby was dead. But one friend, Virgil, did take some and I'm glad he did. This is one of his pictures of the dove release.

Our family gathered around Brianna's casket and we were each given a dove to hold. At the same time, we released them into the air. They circled several times before journeying home. The release symbolized Brianna's spirit rising and joining other family members who have passed away and are now in the heavens. The doves also symbolized "letting go" and the beginning of our grieving. We all cried softly as the beautiful birds fluttered away together into the sky.

We have received numerous cards of condelences with special notes written from many of you. They are all special to us. I'd like to share one in particular.

While Brianna and I were in the hospital, she would would get massages to help relax her. One of the volunteer therapists, Kathy, always came in with a smile and laid healing hands on Brianna as part of the massage. She even spent extra time giving me one on my neck and shoulders, when she could. She sent a special card with the word "Grace" surrounded in glitter and inside she wrote a beautiful note:

You and Brianna are in my thoughts.

I will always marvel at what I sensed as your daughter's calm and completely centered place at the heart of her being. Repeatedly, as I worked with her, regardless of what was swirling around her, or happening at the physical level, she seemed to have access to this core. I believe this core was the place of true healing for her.

I wrote the enclosed Haiku in Brianna's memory. I am blessed to have been touched by both of you. Peace...Kathryn

Here is her Haiku:

Stream fall over moss
One leaf glides to pebble path
Dew rests on stone bench

Storm in wrong season
Gales rage outside courtyard walls
Garden calm, pond smooth

She walks here in grace
Where the courageous soul lives
Her still sacred space

Thank you Kathryn...John and I both thank you. We will treasure your words and poem, along with the cherished memories of our sweetheart.


eb said...

each time I come here -
I am so moved...
my son and I have created angels in Brianna's memory for the auction - the time we spent together doing this was very special
as I am sure you can imagine
I can hear fireworks exploding outside in the distance as I write this...
life and love work in mysterious ways

we send our love and blessings

xox - eb


CCs Whimsies said...

I just wanted to send you all a hug, Iva. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Christy

Anonymous said...

Iva!! That was such a beautiful tribute to Brianna ...the doves!!!I am glad I saw the picture...it is so freeing and healing...
the poem is wonderful....how special... and it has so many levels!! love you guys jo

Anonymous said...

Grace, what a perfect word to describe your daughter in her journey. Please take care and thank you for continuing to share.

The Decorated House said...

Dear Iva, I wasn't sure if I ever would be able to come by here and read. I knew it would be beyond heartbreaking. But I am going to be a part of the auction, just because of the beautiful Light I saw in the eyes of Brianna when Ulla posted a picture on her site. I knew I needed to be a part of celebrating such a person.
Today, I read several of your writings. Crying like a baby a whole way. All that is left when any of us leave is the Light and Love that we gave while here. That certainly makes Brianna one of the greatest people who ever came to Earth.
Thank You, Donna

Lorraine said...

What a beautiful tribute for Brianna..the haiku is so fitting...love and prayers....

Auntie Mim said...

I just found your site and am crying for you all. What a courageous girl! I have donated a kidney to a relative and have been thinking about becoming a bone marrow donor - and now I will take the steps to get registered.
God bless you all

Heather said...

I am very touched by the lovely note you shared and the image of the doves being released. Since I learned of You and Briana and her illness I haven't been able to stop thinking of her. My step-sister has been fighting MDS for 5 years and while she is doing ok currently, she has been unable to find a donor match. I know how scary and hard it must have been for you and I wish you peace now in this moment of heavy hearts.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

I didn't know about Brianna until after her death. My love and prayers are with you and your family. May your daughter's beautiful memory bring you peace and comfort in the years ahead until you're all together again.