Sunday, August 28, 2011
Today my family, all 16 of us will go to my sister's church. We don't know if my sister will be up for coming. But we will be there to support her family. After church we will be back at her house. We expect a few extended family to visit that have come from out of town for the funeral tomorrow.
On Friday we had the viewing. I was not looking forward to it. Really, not much right now is worth looking forward to in the next few days.
At first my sister had wanted it family only and a few close friends. At the last minute she opened it up to everyone. It was amazing to see the support. The love that everyone has for her and the kids. The viewing was 3 hours. I thought it would be a very very long 3 hours. It actually went by quickly, for the most part.
My sister had Darren in a side room so it could be more private. She was the first one of course to go in. My dad helped her. It was heartbreaking. I sat with the kids and discussed what to expect and explain it a bit more to them. One by one, they joined their mom. Then my husband and I joined them. It was very odd to see Darren. He didn't look like himself. It was him, but not. His hands were exactly him. He seemed to big for the coffin. I think we all sorta expected him to sit up and say it was all a joke. My sister held his hand the entire time. I really don't think she saw anyone else who came in the room. It was a very difficult time for everyone.
When it was coming time to leave, she asked everyone to gather around and pray over them. We layed hands on them and prayed. Then everyone left them and we closed the door so they could have a private time. My husband and I joined them. My sister, I can't believe how strong she is. She took time to talk to her kids and encourage them, to make sure they each said a goodbye. Then she shared her heart. It was heart wrenching. We all wept. Then left and wept more with those waiting outside.
I received a text as we left and some friends stopped by our house while we at the viewing to see our cavernous fridge. We really had nothing, when we've been home, we have eaten toast. They called to tell us they were getting us a few groceries and what did we need. I wept again. To be loved like that is an amazing feeling. But my mind couldn't even think of what we needed. I listed some basics and then asked them to join us for something to eat at the restaurant. I had not really eaten that day and my husband was starving. It was such a huge blessing to sit with them for a few hours. No sense of death hanging over us. It was so therapeutic and much needed. And the groceries were a huge blessing to us. Thank you my friends for your practical display of love.
Saturday was the day to go to the cemetery and pick out the grave. I didn't make it. I had to pick up a few things my sister needed. But I met them at a local place that grows Dalihas. My sister decided that she wanted Dalihas to be Darren's 'flower'. One that they can take when they visit his grave. We all spend time walking around picking out the one we wanted to be able to lay on his grave. What beautiful flowers.
Monday, we will bury the urn. It will be a very small ceremony, just family and few close friends. It's not open for everyone. But then, we will celebrate Darren's life with all who choose to come to the funeral, or as my son mistakenly called it, the festival. It will be an amazing time. There are some amazing songs picked, my niece has put together a slide show of her dad and some sharing. I will be bringing a box of tissue. At this point, I think we should really all just carry a box with us everywhere.
We appreciate your prayers and continue to need them.