This is one of two pictures of you I allowed to be shared after you died. The first picture was the one of me holding you after they turned off all of your machines. This was the second picture:
Your sweet forever sleeping profile.
I have a lot of pictures of you from the time after you died until they took you away. But you were so strangely not you but also still you that I didn’t want those pictures shared.
In most of the pictures your skin had already changed colors. You were so, so pale. Your mouth drooped open in a way I’ll never forget. Your eyes closed. Forever closed.
The nurses had dressed you in a gown made from someone’s wedding dress. It was a small comfort to know someone had donated such a beautiful garment for such a sad cause. Your first dress. Your wedding and death gown.
You were still so small. Smaller than an American Girl Doll. Smaller than most teddy bears. I didn’t want you to become one of those memes meant only to guilt people into sharing or praying or donating in the name of a lie. I didn’t want people to stare and gawk at you.
It was the only way I could protect you. One of the only ways I could not only be but also put my role as your mom into action.
You were and always will be so beautiful to me. And that’s all I wanted people to see for forever. My stunning, beautiful, fiery Phoenix.