A year ago today I laid my son to rest at our church. It was a beautiful celebration service that we had to celebrate his eternal life. There were lots of monkeys, balloons, flowers, and decorated tables. It is yet again another one of those days forever etched in my mind. With George dying in Jan we of course got swamped by snow storms and had to postpone his funeral an extra week and it was the Saturday morning the day before Valentine's Day. We got their early and greeted friends and family who came to wish us their condolences while my mom stayed at home with the boys since the service was not for 2 hours following the calling hours.
Hugh's brother Glenn played the music for the service, a gift I don't think he will ever realize the magnitude of. The music was perfect, my sister read a beautiful poem she had written for him, I read his eulogy, and Hugh sang the song I used to sing to get George to go to sleep. There was a reception in the church hall that people from our church helped with and my Aunt Joan oversaw(I cannot thank her enough for what she did for me those two weeks following his death and still does every now)
The hardest thing for me to do that day was not his eulogy...I was happy to share my good memories with those who had come to share the day with us. It was actually when we went outside and had to put some of his ashes into the ground. I was completely unprepared to be the one to put his ashes in the hole in the ground. Our deacon handed me the tiny urn with his remains and I just stared at the hole thinking in disbelief about what I had to do. I had to put my son in the ground...later on I was so happy that I did, I was able to walk him that final mile. Hugh shoveled the dirt in and others who wanted to participate did also...I was the last to place the final shovel.
Today we went to church and I walked past the memorial garden knowing he was there under all that snow and a big part of my heart became sad. I hope that soon we can actually get his name added to the plaque to acknowledge his existence there. It is so hard to walk by and not see his name there knowing that he is there. In some ways it makes it feel incomplete for us just as others wait anxiously for their loved ones head stone to come in. I am so grateful that we opted to keep some of his remains here in his urn because I think I would feel completely lost had I just opted to put them all there that day(something we had contemplated) not having anything to mark his existence.
We have been "living" and making it through the days as we will have to from now on. The profound sadness is still in my heart but I am slowly learning to live with my son in heaven. I think of him all the time and the times that I miss him most I light a candle for him that is on his mantle. Gabrielle keeps me busy during the day and the boys keep me busy at night until they go to bed. I don't know how things are going to be going in about a week since Hugh got a new job doing tow truck driving. It is still far below what he was making before but at least it is steadier than Sears and he will have 40 hrs a week. That being said, he is working the swing shift and won't be home at bedtime/bath time for the kids which is usually their special time. It is going to be a lot of change around here.
We have also been working hard on the emotional piece for all of the kids. Richard has started counseling and met his counselor this week. I am still looking for one for Josh and Mike but due to their age it is hard to find someone to see them. Most facilities will not deal with children until 7 years old. Josh and Michael have both really been showing a lot of signs of anxiety and sadness as they remember that day since they were here when we found George. All of the kids have started Karate classes for the next few weeks as a gift from my mom. They all attended their first class this weekend and I really think it is going to be a good thing for them and will help them on many levels.
I personally have been trying to get my own emotions together. I'm a very logical person and do not thing of all of this as a bad thing that is changing my life negatively but I cannot erase the images from that day from my mind. No matter how hard I have tried there is noting I can do about the anxiety or the nightmares. I went to the doctors and talked to him and he told me that due to my personality that he felt just adding in some anxiety meds to help when the uncontrollable things get hard to handle. He felt that I had a good handle on things emotionally and counseling would not necessarily help with the problems I was having. I have started taking them and feel a big difference. I am so glad that I am the kind of person who knows when I need help and am not afraid to say something about it.
I am hoping that things keep going on a positive path. These next few weeks will be very busy with the kids medically and also trying to get them all situated with the new changes coming our way. Please keep us in your prayers to find peace in our hearts and be able to put our faith in God as we take a step forward on our path he set for us each day.
George's Guardian's of Grace Projects
Stocking project is now in full force collecting donations. We have a list of the items we can use. You can also choose to sponsor a stocking in memory or honor of someone else. We will include a paragraph or two in the cards we place in the stockings to let the recipient know about the person that means so much to you. Our paypal account is posted on this page and ready to take donations. Email us for a list of items needed or with any questions or information you would like included on a sponsored stocking/donation.
Video Tributes/Celebration of Life Footage
Here is a link to a video tribute that was made by Richard's dad in memory of George. Get out your tissues!
We Finally have footage from the service up and running:
It is in 4 sections running about 17 mins each. If you were unable to attend, you can now see what you missed. We were so blessed to have everyone there with us in person and in spirit!