I need to record my memories of the funeral here, so that I never forget. I wish that funerals were videotaped like weddings. Because like a wedding, the main participants go through the ritual in a blur. I found when planning this, that I needed to think of what would be comforting to me and to his father, not what he would necessarily pick as comforting.
I'm going to start with an outline and adding my comments for each section.
Call to Worship and prayer.
Funny, I can't remember any of this part.
Romans 8, 37-39
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. "
"Just As I am, Without One Plea" Organ solo. This song is the good old Methodist Communion song that I grew up with.
Witness and Celebration of Life
1. W's Scoutmaster spoke of him and remembered his leadership qualities and shared memories. W was the Senior Patrol Leader of his Boy Scout Troop (like a Club President). His favorite memory was of when they were on a particularly difficult hike. W and some of the other scouts had fallen behind, so he went to check on them. W was leaning against a tree, obviously exhausted.
Scoutmaster: What are you doing W?
W: This tree is leaning over, so I'm holding it up.
He had completed every single requirement necessary to attain the rank of Eagle Scout. However, he had not submitted his application. After his death, the adults in the troop and the Scoutmaster worked night and day in order to submit it. The Boy Scouts will only award the Eagle posthumously if a scout has completed all the requirements. So W was presented with the Eagle rank at the funeral.
The Scoutmaster called all Eagles in the audience to the front. This is usually when the older Eagles welcome the new Eagle into the brotherhood. (Only 2 percent of boys that enter scouting ever reach Eagle). There were a few young men there that W knew. But to our amazement and joy, 10 men of various ages also came to the front. They recited the law and the oath. Then the Scoutmaster had them make a space for W in the line as they recited their name and the year they made Eagle. The Scoutmaster said W's name and 2004 as they reached the empty space. Then two of the young scouts presented the Mother's Pin and Father's Pin to his father and me.
2. The leader of his church group spoke. Our church is so big, that kids separate into small groups and meet in members' homes. He told of how W was so quiet but kind. He was willing to help with homework, especially if a girl needed help!
3. The leader of the student ministry at our church spoke. He knew W, even if not as well as the other two, and was able to share a memory. He impersonated W's look perfectly.
Solo: Amazing Grace. This was done acapella and was very beautiful.
Words of Faith, aka, short sermon. The Pastoral Care minister gave this. I wish I could remember more of it, but it was based on a long conversation we had had. I was mostly pleased that he said emphatically that it was NOT God's will that this should happen to W and to us.
CD of Sailor's Prayer, written by Rod MacDonald and performed by the Corsairs (See my favorite Pirate link). This song was selected by B, because it inspires us to keep going.
After the service, so many people came by. His first grade teacher and his most recent teachers were there, as well as so many friends.
We went to the grave site to see the casket for the last time. I could not bear to watch it being lowered into the ground, so we left before that was done. We went back to see the grave later. It is covered with flowers, awaiting only the headstone.
We gathered at a nearby relative's home, where both sides of the family caught up on the latest, and close friends met others for the first time.
So much packed into one day. So strong a life packed into 16 short years.