Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Death of Our Son Part 2

Editor's Note: Last year I wrote a series of posts about the death of my son, Kenny. I received many comments from other Mom's who have lost children too. Kenny has been gone for 16 years now and in honor of this anniversary I will be reposting all 4 posts. It is my hope that my story of loss and grief can bring another mother or father just a little bit of peace and comfort, even if it is only for a little while.

Going to the Funeral home... 
My husband and I, David, Jake, Marc and Ann went to the funeral home. We answered all kinds of questions, burial vs. cremation, the details of the obituary notice, who would be sitting in the family section at the church so they could marked for us and how did we want the viewing to be handled and what kind of casket did we want. Choosing all of this for a 19 year old boy just seemed so wrong. 

We were shown to the "casket room" so that we could pick out one for Kenny. We were all looking to find just the right one that suited Kenny's personality. We found one that suited Kenny perfectly. 

Choosing a cemetery...

Kenny had always said he wanted to be cremated and I was fine with this as it is my choice as well. However, David said he wanted to know that when he went to visit his brother that he would rather have bones to talk to instead of dust. I didn't want him in the ground so we compromised and put him in a vault in a mausoleum. We chose a spot that faced east and was just steps away to where my husband Tommy's parents are buried. 

Details of a funeral...

With the funeral home, obituary and cemetery off of our list it was now time to turn our attention the night of the viewing, funeral Mass and the procession to the cemetery. 

Thankfully, Fr. David was there to guide us. He helped us find the right readings for Kenny's funeral Mass. I knew what songs I wanted to have for the funeral and Fr. David guided us through the placement of the songs for the funeral. I also knew that I wanted our long time family friend, Kathy Martinek to sing the songs we had chosen. We decided that my brother, Billy would be the best person to give Kenny's eulogy. At the last minute Kenny's Dad, Marc decided that he to also wanted to give a eulogy. Which was as it should be. 

Things were coming together. Then David had a request he wanted to do one last thing for his big brother, he wanted sing a song. Now it was a matter of surviving all of this and praying that we would all make it through the funeral and to the cemetery.

The inside pages of the funeral program are to the left and above. Kenny's Funeral Mass will begin with the entrance hymn "Amazing Grace" and is followed by the opening prayer. From there we went to our chosen readings. My Dad would do the first reading from Wisdom 3:1-9. My brother Billy would do the second reading from Romans 8:31-35, 37-39. We choose the Matthew 5:1-12 for the Gospel which would be read by Fr. David and followed by his Homily.

During the Liturgy of the Eurcharist and the Preparation of the Gifts, Kathy would sing "Be Not Afraid". We chose the hymn, "On Eagle's Wings" for Communion also to be sung by Kathy.  After Communion there would be a time for reflections and this is where David would sing his song, "Here I am, Lord" and was followed by "Surely the Presence" sung by Kathy and another family friend, Wanda Smith.

This would be followed by Marc's eulogy and then my brother Billy's eulogy. Then there would be the Blessing and dismissal followed by the closing hymn, "Let There Be Peace on Earth". 

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