Preparations now needed to be made for a funeral.
I never dreamed that I would find myself doing this, as such a young mother. I was only 28 yrs. old.
For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. Job 3:25
Bury one of my children…plan a funeral?
Many times in the past I feared this very thing. I remember my first pregnancy….worry…worry…worry.
…notice the verse says THING…
And in my case this thing was a “happening”…a time I didn’t think I could handle…a time or event that I feared would take hold of my life and destroy me.
Now…I found it had come. Yet, God in his greatness and wonders of awe…gives peace at such times most needed.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is ever lasting strength.
Though I fought the flesh and emotions…God gave strength were man could not.
We had an appointment the next day at Helen’s to speak with someone about making some kind of arrangements.
The next morning as we pulled out of the driveway of our home; it was so quiet. I looked around and saw people getting ready to work in their gardens…the farmer rounding up his cows…women hanging their quilts out the windows as usual to air in the freshness of the morn.
“NO…wait!!!...STOP…you don’t understand…my son has died!...STOP WORLD!”
A gentleman stopped in his tracks and just “stared” …no, he wasn't staring he was just watching us drive by.
Once again…REALITY came to my heart. How oft this comes and we forget…
That life goes on…day upon day…and yet for some…sorrow has come…joy has come.
I realized this event…was to be mine. My families.
“God help us get through this difficult time…
though there are people who want to help us…YOU, LORD alone are the one we need. The One who can supply all our need…physical, spiritual, mental…all in all…is our LORD GOD.”
When we arrived at Helen’s…Kathryn was there waiting, she offered to take all the children to a park while we made our preparations. Helen spoke perfect English as well as German and French. She would help us with every detail.
As we talked with the funeral director, we explained that due to our soaring hospital cost we could not afford a funeral or a casket…and so he offered us the service of cremation. The hospital in another town had a special garden for children who have died with no place for burial. He then opened a binder and began to show us photos of urns.
I had to leave.
I went outside to collect my thoughts. How hard it was to hear these words.
I stood outside and cried.
My husband had to continue with the arrangements; my heart ached for him to have to carry on this task.
I soon returned inside as they had finished up and Kathryn returned.
The children helped relieve the emotions..they were excited about where Kathryn had taken them and told us all about it. It was fun.
I was so thankful to her for doing this…what relief…and a need taken care of.
I remember reading an article once about a woman who had a death in the family and a friend came to the door and asked for everyone’s dress shoes…
“Dress shoes?...why do you want our dress shoes?”
“To polish them for the funeral…I want you all to look your best and thought I could help in doing this”
The woman was so touched….she had not even thought about their shoes…the children’s shoes were scuffed and in great need of a good polish. This small act of kindness so touched the woman and on the day of the funeral as they all dressed she looked down at her children’s shiny shoes and sighed relief.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
When we arrived home…Claudine came over to see how we were and what arrangements had been made. We explained our situation to her.
The village Pastor came over to visit a short time later. We had never met him before,a kindly man and quiet. We spoke of our faith and he was greatly encouraged by our calm spirit and peace.
The next day Claudine came over and told us that the village agreed that since we lived there in their midst and our son was born here, in their country…they would give us a place for him in the village graveyard.
I could not believe it…my heart welled up with thankfulness…
Our son, buried right here in this village...
...a token also...that we had been accepted.
I could see the graveyard from my large picture window. We walked past it often on our walks and my daughter’s classroom building shared it’s fence.
Claudine warned us however, of the tradition of funerals in the village. 200 people in attendance! We explained to Claudine that we wanted a small private service…she said that she was sure that would be okay, but to expect some representatives of the village. She offered to help with a small reception afterwards. She had all the aprons and things needed…she had done many funerals in the village. She’d take care of it all.
We met again with the Pastor of the village…each village Pastor ministers to the needs of all the residents. We were warmly welcomed into his home and served hot tea by his wife. We talked about the scriptures we wanted read and that my husband also wanted to speak. They were totally surprised, and had never had a Father speak at the funeral of his own child. We could do this, but the Pastor had to reside and say the scriptures.
In the arrangements made, due to our financial dilemma, we were to pick up Stephen’s ashes…ourselves.
We would be told what day.
II Corinthians 12:9-10
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.