we went to our grieve sharing class last night. I think it is helping us at least to some degree. Next week it is going to be on losing a child. There is so much pain in that room, at times it is almost breath taking. God does seem to be a part of most of their lives, which is what is getting us from one step to the next.
This is going to be another one that is hard to write, but hopefully it will also be a little bit of healing in the process. I got up on that Thursday morning---the day of my son's funeral---I can hardly even say it let alone live it. I look in the mirror and say how can I really be living this nightmare--my 20 year old son is going to be buried today---but then God will whisper in my ear, yes, I know you are mourning, but remember he is with Me. That does help, but my heart is breaking into so many piece one can't begin to count them. I realize I am losing weight rather rapidly and am getting weak. Everybody is telling me you have to eat, but tell me how do you eat when you feel like anything you try to swallow will only end up on your shoes couple of seconds later. We some how all manage to get dressed and get in the car to leave for the church. When we get there, Gillman has us pull our car right up behind his-----there are times you just don't want to be first in line and this is definitely one of those times. We get out and walk very slowly into the church. Once again, I just wish with all my heart this funeral would not have had to be in Smithville church---it all just leaves such terrible memories, I hate to say it, but I can not stand to walk into that church. All I can see is Taylor's casket against that window and the top of his head. I just want to take to crying every time I walk into that church. It all comes back like it was all just happening again. Anyway back to that day---we open the doors to go in, and yes, the first thing I see is his casket and the top of his head. We get to a few people, but mostly just go up to the casket before the people start to come, because we know we have very little time left to see him my ourselves. Brooke and I walk up to talk to Taylor. She is talking to him---a little story between those two. Brooke would always buy sour patch kids candy. Taylor also loved them, but never bought any, just ate Brooke's when she was not home. He loved the lemon ones. Just a couple of weeks before, she must have caught him "stealing" her candy--which was up in her room. She told him, just ask, and I will give you some, don't go into my room and just take them. Of course, Taylor had that little smirk on his face and said OK, but we all knew---it was going in one ear and going out the other---he just thought that was not important and Brooke should not get that uptight about her little candies. So, now Brooke and I are up by his casket and she is talking to him, touching his face, hair, and his arms. She is talking about that candy episode and pretty soon, she brings out a little lemon sour patch kid candy and puts it into his hands and says, it is ok Taylor, I am sorry for yelling at you, you can have this candy. I love you. Well, that is too much for me, and I take to sobbing even before any people start through the line for the last time. There are already a bunch of kids sitting in the church, they come out and start to go through the line. My heart is breaking for them as well as for myself. Those kids had tears running down their cheeks. I hear the songs starting to be sung, so I knew our time was growing short before that dreaded moment of closing the casket. I had told the kids and Jeff at home do not look when they are closing the casket---that will be too much to watch and a memory that will be forever in graved in your mind. Brooke is constantly looking at the clock and realizing she had little time left. Now, my family is starting to go through. I remember Ron coming through. When he got to me, we just sobbed in each others arms and he told me later that I said to him- use this tragedy to reach the friends (I do not even remember saying this. At this point I could not have made a coherent sentence if I tried---it had to be the Holy Spirit speaking), but he said as soon as I said that- it was like the Holy Spirit said I will help you, and it will be powerful, then a great peace came over Ron. Now, it was time for our family to go up for the last time. You can't even imagine the horror of that moment, all i can say is God was carrying every one of us, even though Brooke did almost end up on the floor. We go up to the casket, we all talk to him, and was saying our final good bye. I kiss him on the cheek and am sobbing so hard I am just leaning over the casket, but do find the strength to stand up to fall into Diane's arms who is standing right behind me. We just stand there holding each other up, while Brooke, Spencer and Jeff are giving the final kiss good bye. I do finally get a little bit under control. I start to walk over to get to my dad, who is in a wheelchair. When he sees me coming, he takes to sobbing real loud and saying OH DEBBIE, which is where I lose it again and just hang onto him. While this is going on Brooke gets her turn with Taylor, she is again talking to him and sees that the candy has slipped from his hand and so she fixes it and then takes to sobbing so hard, she has her head on his chest. She thought she would take one last whiff of his Cologne that was on his shirt, but instead she got a whiff of death. She stood up and turns around, but that is just too much for her when she realizes they are closing the lid, she takes to wailing and she starts to go down. Max grabs her and Diane goes to help him hold her up. Gillman gives Jeff some smelling salt and Jeff puts it under her nose, by this time they have her laying on a bench. The smelling salt brings her right back, in fact , she says in a rather loud voice, Just what was that. Spencer by this time is over by me, He told me later he almost went down too, but quickly got over by a bench. Jeff is so busy helping all the kids, that they are cranking Taylor's head down, when Jeff said Hey, I have not said my good bye yet. So, they cranked Taylor back up. I knew now was the time to look anywhere but at Taylor, cause I could not bare to see that lid close down on my son. I grabbed Spencer and hung onto him and said don't look. As I was looking anywhere but at Taylor, I thought why are there so many people standing around. There were people every where. I guess the church must have been full. Now, the ministers were ready to go in. Ron had just seen all this emotion, as I am sure it would had been hard to watch even if you did not know the people, but we were his family, so it was very emotional for him. He told Andy just as they were ready to walk in I think I might be in over my head. He said as he was walking in, he had a whole pocket of tissue and a hanky and didn't know if he would be able to say a word, but he said as soon as he stood up a real peace of God went around him and he knew he was going to fine. Oh, in the mist of all this emotion, Brooke found Randy and gave him the tribute she wrote for Taylor. Randy had already said he would do it, but just needed a nice printed out copy. Andy had an idea we were going to do it, but not for sure---so Ron thought better make sure Andy knows before they walk in, so he tells Andy. Andy said I don't think we should do that---Randy said, I feel we should and they look at Ron and Ron said-- what God gave him to say----with God's Grace we should read it. I truly believe that was what God wanted done, because Brooke would have been devastated if it was not read---it was some sort of closure for her and the rest of us. We hear the song Precious Memories and knew that was the song we were to walk in on---Brooke got up off the bench, we started to line up. i did not know if I was strong enough to even walk up the aisle, my knees felt pretty weak, in fact I just felt weak all over,so I got in the middle of Spencer and Jeff and put my arms around each of the, and them me. We hung on to each other tightly. We are right behind the casket. I think I can not stand this, i don't think I am going to make it----God once again is going to have to carry me. I just closed my eyes and walked all the way up there with my eyes closed. I didn't want that memory burnt into my mind. Behind us Max and Diane got a good hold of Brooke so she would not collapsed to the floor. All the way up the aisle she just kept saying over and over it is just a shell, Taylor is not there anymore. It was getting louder and louder the farther up the aisle we got. I was hoping the song did not stop until get got seated. We knew what ever songs they sung, no matter how pretty they might be, we will never be able to listen to those again, but God took care of that. i can't remember hearing one song and Diane said when she walked in she was trying to listen to see what they were singing and God put it in another language to her ears, she said I could not understand one word----one never knows how God is going to work. Anyway we finally get up to the front. We are sitting very close together and hanging on to each other. We are mostly under control now, maybe just softly sobbing at times. Andy gets up to read the obituary, then Ron stood up and his voice cracked once, but God gave him the words to say and a real peace in his heart and a peace around him. The church was packed and lot of them kids, I pray that every soul that does not have Jesus, will never forget this service and God will convict them night and day. Ron does bring out in his service something I forgot to say earlier, Jeff wanted to put Taylor's bible in his casket with him, but before he took it to Gillman's, Jeff opened Taylor's bible and the string was on 2 Tim Chapter 1 whether Taylor had it there or God put it there we will never know, but Jeff's eyes fell on verse 4 which says-- Greatly desiring to see Thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy. It was like Taylor was saying--He had a great desire to see Jesus, but knew it was going to break our hearts, but he was filled with great joy in going home---maybe it was God telling us this--which ever way it was, it turned into a great comfort for us. I believe God was very much present in that service and comforting us, but also convicting souls not yet ready to be where Taylor was---eternity. Randy got up and finished up with more encouraging words then he read Brooke's tribute. Randy did a wonderful job, even though he did not really know Taylor. He read it just like Taylor would have played it out. Now it is time to walk out. The service went over 15 minutes, but I did not even notice, somebody else told me that. Anyway, when the ministers were walking off the pulpit, Randy tells the choir to sing Amazing Grace--this is not the song we were suppose to walk out on, but once again, God changed our plans for His purpose. What better song for us to walk out on that Amazing Grace, that was exactly how Taylor was saved---Jesus shed Blood and His Amazing Grace, It was like God was saying I love Taylor and I saved him by my Grace and every one of you can have this-God picked the song for Taylor to be wheeled out on, not any of us---No Taylor was not the Christian I would have liked for him to have been--I would have liked to have seen him on fire for Jesus , but he had a child like faith and God showed us very clearly that was enough for Taylor to be saved and spend eternity with Jesus----Praise His High and Holy Name!! We walk out slowly to the car and am amazed how many people are there. We are sitting right behind Gillman's and watched all the people coming out----it was a testimony of how many people's lives Taylor did touch. Oh, Taylor we loved you with all our hearts and will miss you terribly every single day, but it looks like your friends loved you and will miss you too. When we left the church for the cemetery, I could not believe all the cars, there were cars in the front yard of the church, I have never seen that before----I certainly hope that the hearts that Taylor did touch, will never forget him and one day we can all be reunited in Heaven. I will finish the rest of this funeral day next time. I do know that the day we buried Taylor, they buried a part of my heart with him. No, our lives will never be the same again, but hopefully with God's Grace we can glorify His name in this terrible tragedy and grow closer to the One that does hold the very breath of our lives in His hand.