The Funeral - Chapter 27

The funeral started at almost noon.  There were lots of coworkers from work, relatives and people from our church.  The funeral director had the front row arranged so couches were place on either side of the aisle for the first and second row.  We were seated on the right side of the aisle in the very front.  It was a very sad time in our lives.  We had asked Pastor Wilson and my mother share the thoughts there at the funeral home.  Both of them were very good and I listened intently to what they had to say since this would keep my mind occupied for several minutes. I couldn’t tell you what they said that day however.  My sister, sang a song that she had written for the occasion.  Kelly Wilson, a friend also sang “The Savior is Waiting” that she had personalized for Ashley.  It was very moving, but at this point Pam and I just wanted to get through the day. We knew that this trial was almost over and we were ready to begin healing.

The service was finally over.  After everyone had said their goodbyes we had the opportunity to say goodbye to Ashley.  We said our goodbyes and put my hands on her for the very last time.  I was OK with this because I think that my heart had said goodbye to her at the hospital.  The funeral director helped all of the people out of the chapel and closed the doors so that he could do the final preparations to the casket. I was very curious about what was happening and turned to watch him through the windows in the door.  I specifically remember for some reason the Pastor coming up to me and helped turned me away so that I wouldn’t watch.  I knew that he cared very much, but I wanted to see the last glimpses of my daughter.  Nevertheless, I turned and didn’t watch any further.

I was allowed to carry the Ashley’s casket.  I felt so honored that I was allowed to carry my daughter for the very last time.  I carried her from the doors of the chapel to the hearse.  The casket was not as heavy as I had envisioned, but it was quite bulky for that amount of weight.
We drove the our car marked with a funeral flag just behind the hearse all the way to the cemetery. I had been to lots of funerals, but I had never been the car behind the hearse.  It was a very different to experience this.  To know that you are the closest people there related to the person that died.

Lessons Learned

  • If you plan to have a funeral for your anencephalic baby, be aware their maybe people who think they know what you need.  If what you want is different from that, you should kindly tell them what you need.
  • If you are acquainted with someone whose baby will be born with no brain, do your best to be at the funeral.  I specifically remember two painters who were part of our church who came to the funeral in their paint clothes.  But they made the effort to be there no matter what.  This really meant a lot to us.
  • Bible Verse: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4 NLT