I have to say this whole grief process is full of baby steps. Today was a very big baby step and I didn't even anticipate it at all. I sang at the funeral for the man at our church who returned to heaven. For the first time I put all my faith that God would lead me and the music would be just the way it was suppose to rather than worry like I usually do. It went well and I didn't fumble and even got rid of the anxiety in my voice. I was glad that I could be part of his service and lend the gift God gave me to celebrate his life. Since we were touched by this couple I was able to get my parents to watch the kids and spent the day with the family at the cemetery and reception following.
Our church has a tradition during funerals to have the family partake in the burial. I know Hugh and I were taken back by this and were not prepared to have to bury our son ourselves. When the deacon handed me George's urn to place his ashes in the resting place at our memorial garden, I was just baffled and felt I could not dump my son's ashes in this hole. With everyone watching, I knew I had no real choice and I placed my son in the ground and tears just ran down my face. Hugh placed the first shovel full of dirt into the hole and everyone who wanted to added to it, myself included as we put him in his resting place. It was hard to do but I am so thankful that we did this and they did not really tell us ahead of time because I would have fought them on it but I really had to do it. I needed to walk my son home to heaven as much as possible.
Today was the first service that I have been to where I went to the grave sight and went through this whole process all over again. My heart just broke thinking of George's service as I watched Charlies wife took that same step that we did when she took a shovel of dirt and placed it on Charlies urn and final resting place. The family all came up and tears just streamed down my face remembering that day just a few years ago when we had to do this. Thankfully Marsha, another wonderful member of the church who is Gabrielle's church Godmother and who I just adore, was there and held my hand knowing how hard it was for me to be there. At first we stood back and were not going to do the shoveling but once the family was done there was still quite a bit of dirt that still needed to be placed so we went up and Marsha did it first and turned to see if I wanted to. I hesitated at first but knew it was something I had to do, and with all I had in my heart I placed the dirt in his grave and helped to finish his burial.
I do not know if Charlie was placed in our lives to just help me through this milestone but I do have to say, even in his death Charlie changed my life for the better. There is still that deep rooted pain but each of these baby steps helps me to get closer to that place I need to be. Grief is full of good and bad days or good and bad moments. You can't run from it and have to face it head on no matter how much you don't want to. I know all things happen for a reason but there are times when none of it makes any sense. Faith is the only thing you have to lean on at times. Nothing can ever ease the pain in my heart for the loss of my son but my children that are here still teach my heart to smile through the pain. Just when I think I cannot take anymore ache, one of them comes and hugs me or does something to make me smile or it warms my heart. These past few years have just been so very hard...I know what life is all about and what is important but suffering so much loss, it becomes overwhelming at times. I have to trust in God and his plan for our lives but when it makes no sense and takes so long without any answers or light at the end of the tunnel it becomes hard to keep faith that it will all turn out ok.
Please keep the family of Charlie in your prayers as they begin their walk down this path. It is so hard to do, and I know that often times the elderly are left to themselves especially after a spouse has died. I pray for them to be there for one another and that this be as gentle on them as possible.
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!