Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What I want...

These last few days have gone by in a blur. I'm exhausted from spent emotion. From absorbing emotion. From walking the fine line of not expressing too many of my opinions.
I am a truth seeker. Hard to lock these lips when a lie is being told.
I was sincerely impressed with the funeral for Rob's uncle, Mike.
It was more of an informational setting then a "He's gone to heaven and now is living with Jesus."
See, his salvation was never affirmed. I was afraid I'd have to sit through a service that was full of lies.
The pastor concentrated on memories the family had of Mike, and gave verses that left people to interpret them how they saw fit. If you are a believer you didn't feel misled. If you weren't a believer it sounded like a normal thing you'd hear at a funeral. They sang the old hymns.
I say they because I don't sing the old hymns. I sing worship songs. So when it came to the pastor's duet of 'I Can Only Imagine' There I was in the second row belting it out and raising my hands. I didn't care that it was meant to be sad...it's a worship song. I SING worship songs. Mom turned around and looked me in the eye with tears and held my hand. She was worshiping with me, but her words couldn't come out loud enough. I couldn't give her much to relieve her grief, but I could SING. (Ok, I'm not any kind of singer, public or otherwise. I would NEVER stand in front of a microphone and sing...but like I said I worship, and when I DO that, He makes my voice tolerable.) I'm not sure what people thought of it, I didn't really care, it's how I roll. You won't hear or see me singing 'Ole rugged cross' or any of that.
I found out that we were a day away from my SIL, Stacey's Dad's anniversary of his death. I had wondered why she was so tearful, the night before. She was going through the memories. Same church, same songs...she took it hard when the boys carried the casket out and into the hearse.
If I could have taken away her pain, and Mom's I would in a heartbeat. It was painful to see the grief. It doesn't sit well with me. I am afraid of my own grief as well...I've never been "tested".
Sure I don't speak to my family any more and I grieve that loss of relationship. But they are not dead, yet. The may be dead in Christ at the moment but they still walk the earth, for now. It's not the same. There is a FINALITY that comes with death. Closing the casket. There IS a slight doubt that you may never see them again. We can KNOW we will, but that doesn't stop the grief away from thinking I can't touch them, hear them, see them...waiting for again can be really really long.
I've never been tested. I don't WANT that test. I told a dear friend, I think I'd fall into a hole and never make it out. Does that mean I don't Trust God to give me strength?
I don't trust myself to GRAB it. I don't trust that I'll be able to see light because I'll be in a hole.
I really don't like talking about this. It is way to raw.
I know, out there some of you deal with this rawness every single day. I read about it. I feel deeply for you.
I want to be selfish.
I want my family intact, for a long long time and when I'm old and gray, I'll close my eyes and go to sleep and pass away gently, in my husband's arms because I told him I go first.
I want to be selfish.
I want to make the plans for my ever after. And there will be NO singing 'ole rugged cross' I want worship music. I want Chris Tomlin and David Crowder band belted out, played loud at my funeral.
Ok, see now I'm all riled up and that isn't how I wanted to post.
I was given many compliments yesterday.
About how well behaved our children were.
Nina and Nicholas, over the past to days have astounded us with their control and sensitivity.
Here is an example:
At the wake, everyone was whispering. It bothered me, we weren't going to wake Mike up. He wasn't sleeping. (Don't tell my child the man in the casket is sleeping...he's NOT)
Nick came up to ask me something, he was being very quiet. Finally I said "You don't need to whisper, I can't hear you."
He asked why that man was laying there...
I said in a perfectly normal voice that Michael died.
He asked about died.
Again I answered him in a normal voice.
"When our bodies wear out they die."
He looked concerned. I continued.
"Sometimes our bodies get sick and the doctors can't make them better. Sometimes our bodies just get old..."
He pipes in "Like Gma Lorraine."
(who was standing right off to my left and is 85)
I giggle as she looks over, "Yes, like Gma Lorraine."
She comes over and says "But I ain't going anywhere soon Nicky!"
She is a spitfire!
Nick ponders all this and asks what will we do with him.
This one is tougher. They had a reviewal, but he is going to be cremated.
I go for the easy answer.
"We bury him."
He is quiet, thoughtful.
"How does he get to heaven if he's in the ground?"
Ooh, he's smart.
"Nick, only his body goes in the ground, our soul, the part that makes us feel and love goes to heaven. Bodies are what our souls live in."
"like a house?"
"Like a house. When God tells us it's time to move...our soul moves on and the body stays behind."
He'd had enough. He got down and walked over to Gma Lorraine. She was standing there talking with some people. and he just stood at her side, holding her hand, not saying a word. Nina was very quiet, she takes things in, she too was there to offer the comfort of her hand to anyone she thought needed it...I am hoping to talk with her soon, to make sure she's alright. She is well aware of all the crying and sadness. I hope we can talk it through when she's ready.
We got dressed up yesterday...Nick wore his first shirt and tie and "real" dress pants. Oh goodness was he stinkin' cute!
Both kids acted was if they were much much older. They played their roles in the precession like pros and not a peep from them the entire service. This is where all the compliments came in.
"You're children sat so quietly."
"How do you get your children to behave like that?"
"I couldn't believe how well behaved they are."
It went on like that for most of the luncheon.
My answer was always the same.
"They are just good kids."
I can't take credit. Rob and I asked the kids to behave for us. They did. We can't make them. They need to choose that for themselves.
I think it was good they heard those compliments and heard me say that they are good.
We had high praise for them after it was over and they both seemed pleased with themselves.
What I've learned is I am a good mother, this is how I know.
I may loose my temper, and yell. But I'm also there to comfort the cries and soothe the owies. I give high fives and hugs unabashedly. And when I ask my child to do something 97.8% of the time they do. Because I asked them to, and they want to be obedient. And it's not obedient to me it's the Spirit we've nurtured inside them. It's not that they are getting rewarded for good behavior, or bribed with treats. (We only do that for shots!) They feel GOOD ad want that more and more.
It's the nurturing of the Spirit.
I must give these kiddos credit. I can be hard on them. I mean H.A.R.D. But they forgive and we move on and we grow together. Being a mom is tough, but I am SO grateful I believe in Jesus, that I have the bible to go to and share with my children. That we are a family devoted to Christ.
And I still want to be selfish. :)


  1. I hear you - I can feel this post because a lot of it sounds like me. I always wondered how I would handle it when someone I loved died - someone in my family. I lost my Mom almost 6 years ago. We were close and she went suddenly. I was amazed at the way I could feel the grief and be so sad, but yet feel peace and know that there were many people praying for us. I was afraid I would fall apart, but I didn't. So I can tell you that if and when the time comes for you, you will be ok. You will be sad and you will grievem but God will take care of you.
    I've told my family that my funeral needs to be a celebration - bring on those worship songs!

  2. Girl, you are doing one fine job with those kiddos. And we all want to be selfish - we all want to cling to our families and not even contemplate any kind of loss. BUT thankfully if that loss comes, we have Jesus who is greater than everything to carry us through it.

    Great post!

  3. from one selfish person to another....wow..tough day....and it sounds like your family handled the toughness very well. difficult thoughts to discuss w/a young one for sure.

    as far as worship songs vs. the old hymns...have you ever heard old hymn lyrics put to new music...they sure can be worshipful...you may just be surprised! i love them the old way too though...

  4. funerals always bring reflection. it could be someone close or distant...it's all the same. way to go with the worship songs...it's tough being a follower and knowing the true meaning of worship when everyone else just stands around. it is a celebration of someone's life...you handled it well! and your kiddos...well they are lucky to have such a wonderful example set for them and such a good mommy!

    now, go get some well deserved rest!!!

  5. Wow, it sounds like your kids really did amazingly well. I know all about all of the questions that come up for little ones. I think you did a wonderful job explaining death. That's a toughy for a mama!

    I admire the way the funeral was put together as well. I too have been to funerals that left you feelings rather odd because it felt full of lies. I'm sure it's hard to know what to say in that situation.

    Thinking about you all Sara and hoping you get some good rest.

  6. as one sitting in that grief right now, I can tell you it is hard. What makes it "bearable" at all is Christ and the hope He brings. When the funeral is all over, most everyone goes back to their lives, but you still have to walk thru your grief. Some days are smooth, others are not. I am amazed at what little things can set the tears off. But, even as I process this, as I miss my Aunt so very much, I smile when I think about seeing her again!! that hope is what brings peace in the middle of the grief.

  7. Kudos to your kiddos! I feel you on the truth thing. I am working on not being "brutally honest". But I connot abide relationships surrounded by half truths and manipulation. There is never a firm footing.

  8. We have had a lot of death in my family. I remember my mom telling me once that shock/numbness after a loss is one of God's ways of protecting us...like an odd blanket protecting us from feeling everything at once. And that He lets us feel grief and hurt, but it comes in waves because if it hit us head on, we might drown in it. And as the different layers of the loss settle in, He provides a peace that surpasses all comprehension (phil 4:7).


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