Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Saying Goodbye

IMG_19772It was hot out there.  We walked along the path that I walked down hundreds of times as a child to the family graveyard.
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Even though it was mid-week and 1:00 in the afternoon, so many people showed up.  Hugs really do make a person feel better.  And we all got lots of them that day.  It was all set up beautifully.  The funeral home made a beautiful program full of pictures that we had given them of my dad (NO, I didn’t make it!).  Many people had sent flowers.
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The service started with everyone joining in singing How Great Thou Art.  My dad never really sang much.  In fact, I can barely remember him singing at all.  But this song…this song he ALWAYS sang when it was played in church.  I think he always sang this one because as he did he MEANT every word of it.  The last verse especially holds great meaning for him now:
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, “My God, how great thou art!” 
Daddy’s very good friend, Brad Peddie, gave his eulogy.  It was simple and beautiful.  I think my dad, while being a little embarrassed by some of the praise given him, would have have liked it.  One of things that Brad said about my dad that really stood out to me was when he talked about the euphemism “What you see is what you get” and how that really wasn’t true at all with my Dad.  He wasn’t really an open book kind of person.  You had to REALLY know him to understand the depth of his goodness.
Following the eulogy, our cousins Paul and Lori, sang a beautiful song for him and then David dedicated the grave.  It was short and simple and just like my dad would have wanted.  I think one of the most touching moments for me during the funeral was when Dallin began to cry.  I think that it really hit him at that moment that he wouldn’t get to see Granddaddy again, at least not in this life.  As he cried, Layton climbed into the seat with him and began giving him hugs and kisses and patting his shoulder and doing everything he could to comfort his older brother.  It was so sweet.  It makes me tear up thinking about it even now.
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While this has been an extraordinary sad time, I can't help but be amazed and grateful for how much love and kindness has been shown to our family.  People are always talking about how awful the world is and how selfish people are – but after this past week I was left with a completely opposite impression of the world.  I had sweet visiting teachers who came by to bring a special little basket of goodies full of things for the kids to play with and eat as we traveled back home.  I had a best friend who showed up at the funeral with boxes of tissues to make sure that we had what we needed.  She even stopped by and left snacks and drinks for us to enjoy while we spent the rest of the week spending time with family.  A very sweet friend who organized a dinner for my whole family to enjoy after the funeral.  She even went so far as to find out exactly what my picky children like to eat so that there would be something there for them.  And for all those who contributed to the meal – it was DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously, I’m going to need to check in with a few of you about some recipes.   All the sympathy cards that we received were so sweet and thoughtful.  All the comments here and on Facebook and phone calls and the so many other ways that people reached out to us to let us know that they were thinking of us and grieving with us.  All those that stood in the hot sun and sweated as we laid my dad to rest.  Saying thank-you for all of that just doesn’t seem like enough. 

6 comments:

The Mueller Family said...

What a beautiful posting and what a sweet boy Layton is to comfort Dallin. The trail leading to the gravesite is just beautiful. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Pam said...

Katheryn, that was just beautiful and I really enjoyed reading it. I'm so sorry that I didn't know about your dad's passing until after the funeral had already happened. I would have given you a big hug at church! : )

Mandi said...

Thanks for the posting it really was beautiful! I love the picture of the path way and all the trees. It just looks like a peaceful place to be. I am so sorry for your loss but happy that you were able to have such a memorable day in his honor. He sounds like a great man. We love you!

Laurel Shaw said...

Even with a testimony of the gospel it is still hard to say goodbye. And I am glad you had so many hugs to help you get through that very tough day. The story about Dallin and layton is too precious. What sweet boys you have!! Just like their Grandpa!

Casey Gentle said...

Saying goodbye is not fun although it looks as if you did it in a simple and beautiful way. Kinda like the plan of salvation. Your dad raised his baby girl to be wonderfully caring, compassionate and so giving which is why you completely deserved all the support, service and love you received. I've got a hug with your name on it! Love you!

Becky Shuler said...

Once again, such a beautiful post. I just want you to know that without prompting, Matthew continues to pray for Aunt Doris, your Mom and your family. We love you and we miss your Dad. It was a blessing to be able to help out in some small way.