Remember that numb feeling I talked about last week when we lost Michael?
It still is there... with a little added bonus of heart break...
Most weekends are days you look forward to... not this one. It was one where we had to say goodbye to a family member.
Saturday, we woke up to this...
Great... just great... a winter storm warning on the day of Michael's funeral.
The roads were awful to start off the day. It took Ricky & I about an hour & a half to make it to the funeral home.
Luckily, the day would improve with rain to turn everything into slush. It did allow friends & family to visit as the day went on.
There is nothing worse then walking into a funeral parlor room for the first time to see the person you care about & love laying there... it's just a shock to the system... just not right.
Ricky's sister put together the most beautiful photo collages though where we could look back & have fun memories of Michael smiling & laughing. It's small things like that that help you through the day like this day.
Being in a funeral home is just such a strange day. You are so happy to see faces & you love hearing stories of the person you loved & reliving fun memories.... but then the heart break comes again when you have to explain what happened & you are reminded once again that you will not have any more memories being made with this person.... the roller coaster of emotion is so intense.
With the weather, we were all so happy with the turn out of people who cared about Michael & the family. It seemed like at a few points in the day, the room was so busy & full, you could hardly turn around without bumping into someone.
Michael's son, Evan, came up in the afternoon. He is just the most precious little boy... with the most precious momma. We just love Stephanie. I honestly can't say enough good things about this woman. Everyone was holding their breath as Evan came into the room & noticed his daddy there.... & of course, like every 2 year old, they just don't understand. It was a lot of "Shh, daddy's sleeping"... & a lot of playing & running around the room for him. I'm so thankful he was there. He made everyone so happy & brought joy to so many broken hearts. Children have a way of doing that.
Seeing Evan's sweet face lets us know too that even though Michael's life ended so young, he left behind a piece of him that will be with us....
Evan just loved the crowd of people too. This little guy needs to be President one day. Mainly because 1. he's so good with strangers. & 2. He's a flirt. He'd win all the women vote.
|My sister in law got these pictures of this hug fest...|
|He loved our little Grandbuddy too|
... I think she was kinda crushing herself...
Kids just have a way of bringing light to dark situations...
|Ricky with our grand-buddy|
We were so blessed to have our buddy Ryan do the memorial service for Michael.
The funeral home was going to provide someone to do the service, but Ricky just wanted someone who knew the family, who wouldn't just be doing a "job", & most importantly, Ricky wanted the word of God spoken...
I wish I could express to you how well Ryan did. The service was just what the family needed. He brought up memories of the past, reminded us about the sides of Michael's personality & of course, reminded us who our shelter was in times of storms.... it honestly could not have been more perfect.
One of my favorite parts of the service was reminding everyone that we all struggle with things... & while Michael's might have been alcohol & we get angry about the idea of this struggle being the thing that took him away from us, we will all leave this world with struggle. No one will leave this world perfect... & that's why we need a perfect God to help us.
Pam, the big sister of the gang, also went up & spoke. She just was so wonderful... such a big sister who wanted to speak for the family... & she did it so beautifully. We were all so proud of her as well. She spoke of the hope we had for Michael when he became a father & how we had all really felt like this would be the moment that would turn his life around.... Pam could speak so well on this knowing the sadness so deeply herself & how we all felt when we knew it wasn't going to be the turn around we all had prayed for.
I think at the end of the night, we were all so happy how the celebration for Michael's life went... it was a beautiful service & we were all surrounded by so many caring people....
I know for Ricky, Sunday was the hardest though.... I would bet it was probably that way for all the siblings, for Stephanie & for Michael's momma....
it's when the quiet starts to set in... when life gets back to routine... its those moments when everything that doesn't feel real, all comes crashing down, feeling entirely too real... the missing hole in all of our lives feels heart crushingly real.
We have a recording that Michael's sister, Sherry took when the doctor came in & told Michael there was nothing else they could do. It's about a 15 minute recording. You hear the sadness in the doctor's voice... & then you hear Michael's voice... & his words of saying, "I'm not ready to go"... the fight he still wanted to give. & to know he'd leave this world in less then 12 hours after he said these words....
I think Ricky listened to this recording 10 times yesterday....
It keeps his voice fresh in our heads... but brings back the anger & hurt of knowing that the fight is over for Michael....
It just all makes me think though of what the Bible tells us... we're all going to get to the end of our fight. It's then that completeness, wholeness & healing really takes place. I just have to believe Michael is in a place now where he has no more struggles, no more addictions, no more demons chasing him. He now knows how much he is loved... & he's experiencing reunions with family members... & as Ricky told him, he will wait for everyone to be together again one day....
Please pray for my family....
& thank you for the kind words of support you have already given....
I have fought the good fight
I have finished the race
I have kept the faith
2 Timothy 4:7
I just read about this. I am so sorry for your loss but it sounds like you were able to have a beautiful celebration of his life. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.ReplyDelete
I am so so so sorry for your loss friend xoxoReplyDelete
I am just so sorry and will keep you, Ricky and the rest of the family in my prayers.ReplyDelete
I am so sorry. I am praying for you and your family.ReplyDelete
I am so so sorry. Prayers for you all!ReplyDelete
It sounds like the most beautiful service to honor an amazing man. And Evan is absolutely adorable - you'll always have a piece of Michael with you through him :) Prayers and big hugs for all of you right now. xoxoReplyDelete
Remembering you in my prayers.ReplyDelete
Sending lots of love your way! xo, Biana - BlovedBostonReplyDelete
Thinking of you and your family during this time lovely. I am so sorry you are going through this xoxReplyDelete
I can't begin to imagine the loss of someone you deeply love... I'm so sorry you all are having to go through this difficult time. I know I'm miles away, but if you need to talk or anything I'm just an email away. I'll be praying for you and your family.ReplyDelete
I have no words that will bring you comfort. You and your family are in my prayers though.ReplyDelete
Oh Rebecca Jo, I am so so sorry for your loss! It sounds like Michael was surely loved and honored with that service. Please know that I am praying for peace for your whole family.ReplyDelete
I;m so sorry, to hear about your brother in law. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyDelete
Rebecca Jo, you and Ricky have been in my prayers and will continue to be!ReplyDelete
my heart is still breaking for your loss. just know that y'all are in my prayers during this difficult time!ReplyDelete
Continuing to pray for the whole family. My heart breaks thinking about his precious little boy seeing him there :(ReplyDelete
goodness! this is hard to read and I can't even imagine how much hard it is to go through. My heart breaks for your family, especially his young son. I will continue to pray for y'all! I definitely think the upcoming weeks and months will be a struggle that only God can pull you through.ReplyDelete
Bless your sweet heart. We had gone to Arkansas on Friday for my uncle's funeral and I found out what happened to your brother-in-law. Healing will take a long time...and that hole will still be there. However, we serve a MIGHTY God who knows what our hearts need and He will meet us right where we are. Praying for y'all!ReplyDelete
My heart hurts so much for all of you. I can't bear the thought of losing loved ones. It is so painful. ((HUGS)) Keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyDelete