Yesterday Allen and I helped pull off a funeral. It was for someone we'd never met. Allen was asked to conduct and I was asked to play the organ. As the day unfolded I realized how therapeutic it was for me to help someone who has lost a child. Our situations are quite different - but I think the feelings are very similar. I was surprised at how emotionally draining it was for me, even though I didn't even know their son.
His name was Keith and he lived in our ward but we had never met him. He was 35 and engaged and led quite an interesting life. After listening to the stories about him I wished I had met him! He was a really great guy. Lots of fun and full of adventure. He died in a car accident. He was engaged to a girl from Connecticut that he had met in Mexico (he loved to travel) and was planning to go back to school this fall at Royal Roads, a military academy. He loved to golf (like REALLY loved to golf), and came from a big family. He bought a theatre when he was in his early 20's and ran that for a while, then worked in the oil fields, and I think his next venture was to go into something with golf course management of some sort. His fiance had been here in July for 3 weeks. A week after she left he was driving somewhere and got hit by a semi truck and was killed in the accident. What a tragedy. My heart just broke for his fiance, and for his family.
We were there early to help set up. They didn't have a funeral home helping with the funeral so we tried to think of things we could to that they would normally do. After they had a luncheon. It was catered by a hotel (the hotel had donated all the food as his brother works for the hotel chain) and just needed a little help with knowing where things were, keeping punch pitchers full, etc. Someone else from the ward came and helped with that. The High Priests set up the tables and chairs for them and the Elders Quorum came after and took them all down. It was really a team effort. The parents are divorced and both are remarried. One lives in Victoria, BC and one lives in Halifax - so they were both trying to pull this off not knowing anyone here at all. I think it all came off without much of a hitch.
After the funeral was over his step mother came up to me and grabbed both of my arms and said thank you for all the help. She said, "Isn't the church wonderful? Who else could pull off a funeral and have things go so well and have so many people helping when they don't really know a soul here?"
That has stuck with me all day. She's so right. We are so blessed! While I played the hymns for prelude and postlude my heart was full. Hymns can really stir up some emotion in me and they sure did yesterday.
We are so blessed.
We are so blessed.