Wednesday, November 14, 2012

His Service

January 30, 2011
KC and I slept in a little. It felt good to get some extra sleep and snuggle in bed a little longer than usual. I feel such a need to be close to my husband all the time. I just want him to hold me. All these feelings of grief mixed with hormones have left me feeling so insecure. It's hard to explain. But finally we got up and started getting ready. Both of our families came to our house at lunch time. I was worried it might stress me out to have so many people in our tiny little house, but honestly it was a comfort. We ate lunch together and headed to the funeral home at 1:45pm.
The family viewing was at 2:00, and the graveside service was at 3:00. They let KC and I go in first. There it was again....
Oh my sweet baby! Every time I see him, it is just as joyful and emotional as the first time they laid him in my arms. 
Charles Patrick's nursery is a Star Wars theme. KC and I love Star Wars. KC dug out all his old toys to use in decorating the nursery. Last night, as the two of us stood in his nursery, KC picked up his Han Solo and Princess Leia and said he wanted to bury them with our son. That way he'd have "Mommy and Daddy" with him. We just hugged and cried. I knew how much those little toys meant to him, ESPECIALLY Han Solo and Princess Leia. 
We each took our little figures and laid them in the tiny little casket with our son. Daddy on his left, Mommy on his right. We tucked them in to his little arms so he felt safe. 
Until we meet again, my son. 
Next, we let my Dad in to take a few pictures. When we showed Daddy his little toys, he cried. Seeing my Daddy cry is never easy. I know he hurts for me just as much as he hurts for his grandson. 
The rest of our families were invited in. It was my nephew's first time seeing his cousin. You could tell that his little face was so sad. I heard Summer say, "Doesn't he have Silvie's nose?"
You could see Jayden's eyes, his perspective, change at that very moment. He wasn't just looking at a baby who wasn't alive anymore, suddenly he was looking at Charles Patrick. In a surprised voice he says, "Yes! He does!"
Thank you, Summer.
Everyone gave me hugs and told me how beautiful he was. It was so nice to just stand there and admire my boy and watch others admire him too. It was as if I longed for people to see his beauty. As time was coming close, KC and I were just standing side by side and he said he thinks he wants to hold him one more time. So I said, "Well let's do it. No regrets."
I didn't want to leave the parlor with the regret of wishing to hold him one more time. Everyone left the room so we could be alone. KC held him first. His little head was closest to me as we sat in the chairs next to each other. I just put my hands on his head and kissed his little head over and over and over while I cried. KC cried too. Then he handed him to me. I love that feeling of him being in my arms. I cried at the thought that this was the last time I'd feel his little body. I've already experienced that ache in my arms when I just want to hold him. I just don't want to say good-bye. Its hard to let go. I kissed his little forehead and gave him back to the funeral director. His little coffin is so sweet. It is lined inside and out with white satin. Momma, Daddy, and KC's mother, Shelba, rode in the limo with us. I was so nervous. The ride there seemed to take forever. 
We pulled up to the cemetery and my breath was taken away by the amount of people....
...all for a little boy that no one met...
He touched so many hearts. Every doctor, every nurse, every person who knew him. It is still amazing to me. I'm still struggling with all the anxiety and as soon as we stepped out of the limo, I just wanted to hide behind KC's arm. He held my hand as we watched them take my sweet little boy out of the car. The pall bearers were all the males in our family including our three young nephews. 
We followed behind as he was carried to his burial place. That place he showed me just two days ago. I didn't look up much, but when I did, all I could see was tearful faces. 
KC and I took our seats and that's when I noticed the beauty of the day. It was perfectly sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and the air was so warm and comforting. It was perfect. What a tender mercy that proves Heavenly Father is merciful when we suffer (sunny, 68 degrees, in January).
The graveside service began with KC's pastor giving the opening prayer. A dear friend from my church who is friends of both of us spoke. He gave a touching message on spirits. I know Charles Patrick's spirit is with us today. 
Next, Daddy dedicated Charles Patrick's grave. It was such a beautiful prayer. He blessed it that it would be safe from weather and all other things that could defile it. After Daddy's prayer, a close friend, Chase Fowler, who I've known since birth and love dearly sang the song that is so near and dear to my heart. It is the essence of all that I have experienced. 
I Will Carry You by Selah
The song was written by a man in the group whose wife was pregnant with a child with a lethal disorder, a very similar situation to us. The second verse of the song actually speaks about their child which was a little girl, so it says "she" and "her" in a couple of places. When I asked Chase to sing, I meant to tell him to change those words to "he" and "him" but I forgot. I was so sad that I forgot to tell him something so important! 
Chase sang so beautifully and when he got to the second verse, the words were changed for my baby boy just like I wanted. Another very special tender mercy. 
Thank you, Chase.
I just cried and cried. Everything about his service was so beautiful and so perfect, just like him. I couldn't have asked for better. 
Lastly, the Bishop of my church gave the closing prayer. We all came out from under the tent and the funeral director released doves. The first three doves that were released represented Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. They were released together. He released the fourth dove separately. It represented Charles Patrick. When Charles Patrick's dove flew out of the basket, he came out really fast and flew off in the opposite direction of the other three. But the 3 doves circled around to pick him up, and the four doves flew off together. We giggled about it later saying that Charles Patrick wanted to just go play for one minute. My sweet boy! But our loving Heavenly Father said, "Charles Patrick, you can play when we get home!" 
So so silly. Such a boy, isn't he? Everyone lined up to give us hugs. There were so many people present. I'm also still amazed at the weather. It was such a beautiful day. The sun beamed. Maybe it was my baby boy's spirit beaming from Heaven. 

He was one special boy and he was so, so loved. This is a special friend from my childhood who drove from Myrtle Beach to attend Charles Patrick's funeral. Her daughter is also one of God's special angels, buried only yards from Charles Patrick. I think they are going to be lovebirds in Heaven. Actually, I'm quite sure of it. Our Stake President from my church from Greenville even attended the funeral. How very special. 
We enjoyed hanging around the gravesite until everyone left and it was just family. It was such a beautiful day and such a beautiful service. We really didn't want to leave. 
Our family had dinner together at KC's church fellowship hall. KC blessed the food and was so filled with the spirit. He had a lot of strength to get up and do that in front of our families on such a hard day. But his prayer was the most touching and eternally-minded prayer I have ever heard. I love him so much. 
After dinner, we went home and I was so thankful to finally be home....alone....with my husband. We were both so exhausted that we crawled into bed and took a nap. I slept so soundly, but I jolted awake after a couple of hours in the worst panic I have ever felt in my life! My son!!! He was under all that dirt!!! I wanted to go dig him up! What is wrong with me? That is crazy!! I could not shake the panic off like you shake off a bad dream when you first wake up. I shook KC awake and cried to him. I'm going crazy. I told KC to please not let me go crazy. Why was I so panicked? My son is gone, we have to bury him. My poor baby. I guess this is the beginning. The beginning of the chaos, the grief...

Dear Lord, I love thee. I give my whole life to thee. Please fast forward the time to the point when I'm able to deal with this with a sound mind. Heavenly Father, save me. I'm drowning deep in a hole. The hole where my son lies. Remind me constantly that he is safe in thy arms. In Jesus Christ's name I pray. 


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