Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Funeral

LV made arrangements for my brothers to come take care of all our chores while we were gone. I packed our suitcase and by the time our driver came we were ready to leave.

The long ride to their little community seemed even longer than it had earlier that summer when we had gone to visit them.

Arriving at their house we got out of the minivan and went into the house. The yard was full of tractors and funny little trailers that they used for transportation during the week instead of horse and buggies. Inside the house women were hurrying around, busy with all the food preparations that needed to done for the funeral.

We went into the room where Vernon and Fannie were sitting next to a tiny casket. They both looked subdued but peaceful. I wished I knew what to say but felt all choked up. Baby Leona (a Downs Syndrome child) looked so peaceful dressed in all white and wrapped in a blanket. Blinking back tears I followed LV to find a seat with the rest of the family.

It was time to eat before long and afterwards all of LV's siblings gathered at his parents house to spend the night.  The next morning we headed back to Vernon's for the funeral.

The men from the church had set up benches in Vernon's woodworking shop. Once everyone had found a seat one of the ministers got up to preach a short sermon. Once he was done the bishop got up and started rambling, something about rainbows. I couldn't make heads or tails out of what he was trying to say, but then I wasn't used to his style of preaching. I hoped that Vernon and Fannie could find some comfort in his message.

Once everyone had filed past the casket one last time only Vernon and Fannie remained standing next to it with their two little children. LV's Mom got up to stand next to them and then his Dad. Fannie's parents joined them as well. I was so glad to see them with someone who cared instead of having to stand there alone like most Amish funerals. That LV's Mom had taken that initiative made me feel like going to give her a hug.

Once the cover was placed on the casket everyone went outside to go on the long bumpy buggy ride to the graveyard. LV and I rode with his parents in their little top buggy. It was quite crowded but that was fine.

At the graveyard everything went like usual, once the dirt was all piled up in a mound on the new grave and people were turning to leave one of the drivers made his way through the crowd with a single wild flower he had found and laid it on top of the mound. I thought it was such a sweet gesture. We left to go back to the house for the meal the women had prepared. Getting into the buggy I looked across the graveyard one last time. A cold breeze swept across the field and the mound of fresh dirt but the flower remained in place as if it were saying that everything would be okay.


  1. Its days like that that your body goes on auto pilot because your heart and thoughts are eslewhere. It says alot about you that you were able to notice that little flower and the way it stayed there even though it was windy. You are able to see small blessings in the mist of so much pain. My heart breaks reading this post. Blessings, Joanne

  2. The driver who left the wild flower, was really a wonderful gesture, may the Lord continue to heal the hearts of those left behind.
    Mrs. J.

  3. Thank you for sharing the intimate details of life as you knew it, with your family, your friends. Your words touch us in such a sensitive way in all the littlest details.
    Rainbows? I cannot imagine what he was talking about...unless he might have been saying that it was a time of storm, but the sun would come again, and the rainbows would be there in their future. Who knows?

  4. What a sad day that must have been, lightened only by the touching gesture of the flower.

  5. A funeral for a baby is about the saddest of all. I love the flower gesture. A lot of folks give flowers as a token of hope for recovery from the painful loss of a loved one and just to say we care. Thank you for sharing the story.

  6. May God give you comfort in your time of sorrow. Hugs my friend.

  7. Awwe, that's so sad - I'm just getting a bit caught up so I had to go back to see what had happened. It's nice that you both made the trip for the funeral, considering you had a little one at home. That's what families do and you were there for them when they needed you.

  8. So sorry for your loss - you are such a beautiful writer, I could hear your heart through your words. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  9. Hello, Thank you for calling by,also the lovely comment,
    Much appreciated.

  10. How sad.
    Family is so important. I'm glad you and LV were able to go and support his brother and family during what has to be an awful time of grief.

    Sometimes I fancy thinking that something is terrible wrong with a baby dying. But God is God and whether young or old, life is in his hands. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

  11. I was happy to find your blog. I appreciate the visit you made to mine.
    This post about the funeral was the first one I've read so I'm not familiar with your family. You have a gentle way of telling your story and it was touching. When children die, it can be so sad, even when you have faith.
    I was interested in the contrast you brought up about Amish funerals. Since I've never been to one, I didn't understand what was different.

  12. It is so difficult when a child dies, and it's hard to find comfort even when the little tyke had serious medical problems.

    I love the story about the flower. When my aunt died, the funeral director pulled four roses from one of the arrangments and gave one to my Nana, and one to each of Aunt Joyce's brothers. Her granddaughters - about eight and ten at the time - then went around the back of the casket and pulled out a LOT of flowers, and went around handing one to every person who had come to the funeral. It was just the sweetest gesture!

  13. Captivating in it's beauty & poignancy. You certainly have a way with words, and hearts.


  14. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I look forward to reading your blog tonight and tomorrow to "get to know" you a bit. Blessings to you as you start your new week! And God was so kind to us at youth retreat! A few kids came to know the Lord as their personal Lord and Savior! What a God we serve!

  15. Mary Ann, this is a heart felt but very sad share. You make things in your life so real & open for us to share.

    This was a very very hard write for me, the Mother of an angel son. God bless the parents & that beautiful child of God.

    Have a beautiful week ~
    TTFN ~


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.