My father’s memorial service was really beautiful. I think the day went the best it possibly could have. It was very long and exhausting for the family, but we felt so much love and peace. We spent the whole week preparing for the service and luckily all of us children were able to get the week off from work and spend it together. We felt so many emotions and the grief hit us all so hard. It was a tough week, but we were glad we were together. This article really validated our feelings and emotions and continues to give us comfort (click here).
At the church where we held the funeral, we put up tables with mementos and pictures from my father’s life. We also put together a ‘Candy Bar’ with all of my dad’s favorite sweets. He asked us repeatedly to have this and to make the memorial happy and sweet for those that attended. We used his favorite color, orange, and a checkered pattern since his favorite shoes were his white and black checkered vans.
The viewing was very special for us; it was so nice to see so many people come through to say goodbye to our father and give their love to our mother. My brothers and sisters stood by my mother, uncles and grandfather as dozens of family and friends talked with us and cried with us. So many people came that we had to turn them away in order to end the viewing after two hours and close the casket with a family prayer.
After we said our goodbyes, we followed the casket to the chapel where we sat together in the reserved seating area at the front. The chapel was full and overflowing, which was heart warming to see.
Here is a copy of the outline of the memorial program.
At our father’s request, all of his children participated in the program. It was actually a good closure for us, I think. We spent the week thinking about what we would say and at least for me, once I wrote it all down, I felt much better. We tried to paint a picture of the wonderful father, spiritual leader, worker, husband and man that he was.
After the prayer, we again followed the casket outside and were driven to the cemetery in a family limo. The pallbearers were made up of Wayne’s brothers(2), sons(3) and nephews(3).
The cemetery service was short and sweet, but a little painful. Its just so unbelievable to know that our dad is in that casket and is gone from this life. At the grave, my grandfather gave a prayer, dedicating and blessing the gravesite from any harm. It felt so wonderful to be surrounded by so many people that loved him and felt the sorrow of his loss along with us. We sang “God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again”, which is always so comforting.
Everything was so beautiful and we all really loved the casket we found for his body. It was made of cedar and we think it was exactly his style and what he would have chosen. My brothers and great uncle added to it a few of the wood projects my dad was working on and on the sides are pieces of cedar that he and his father had recently cut together. It was perfect.
We stood by the casket one last time together and then everyone took roses from the spray to keep.
We returned to the church for a dinner, provided by our father’s employer- Nicholas & Company. We were so honored and blessed to have them cater the meal for all our family and friends. They treated my dad so well and are the best of the best! We had such a nice time being able to finally chat with all our friends and family that had come from near and far. It was a happy end to the day and we are so grateful to all that came to support us.
We have received so much service and truly have felt an outpouring of love. My parent’s church congregation and neighborhood has been incredibly kind and giving. They lined the neighborhood with orange balloons on the day of the funeral among so many other things that have meant so much. We cannot count all the amazing things people have done and please know we truly appreciate every note, message, flower, meal and visit. Thank you!
God be with you ‘til we meet again~