Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Funeral

Sarah with her boys a few weeks before she passed away.

It has been over a month since Sarah passed away.  I've been wanting to write about the funeral but my emotions were still too raw.  I hope now I am able to express myself and only cry a little while writing this.

I wrote a blog at the beginning of January about Sarah but I was angry when I wrote it and it was basically just a recap of the past two years of her illness and I never did publish it.

This time I'd like to write about the celebration of Sarah's life that my family and her friends enjoyed last month.
I know these pictures aren't in focus, but they're still readable.

I thought I had pushed 'record' on my iphone at the beginning of services but when I went to stop the recording at the end, I realized I had not recorded anything!  It was very frustrating.  You'll have to rely on my poor memory for this recap.

Dad began by welcoming everyone to the services and inviting everybody to stay afterwards for finger foods and to watch the slideshow.  He talked about how the burial had been done privately earlier in the week with only relatives attending.

Mom started things off with talking about how smart and sassy Sarah was and what a good mother she was.  She did a great job.  She stayed sitting up on the stand with Dad, very stoic throughout the rest of the program.

I spoke next.  I had only written a few notes to go off of and I'm afraid I rambled a bit.  I began by asking everyone who had know Sarah for more than five years to raise their hand (I think everyone did), I told them to keep their hands up if they had know her at least 10, then 15, then 20.  It showed what a loyal friend Sarah had always been.
She had at least five friends that had flown in from out-of-state for the occasion, and at least three others that had driven in from California to attend.  My dad's three brothers that live in Utah had all driven down together to be there as well.  I saw three ex-boyfriends there who she had remained friends with and a guy friend she'd never dated but had remained friends with since 7th grade, had also showed up with his wife.
I talked about how the birth of Sarah's sons was the highlight of her life.  I talked about what a great mother, friend, and sister she was.  I talked about how she fell in love easily and gave her whole heart to those she loved.  I talked about what a great artist she was, both in drawing and in scrapbooking.  I talked about what a good reader she was and how smart she was.  I told about how she was such a thoughtful gift-giver and note writer.
Lastly I talked about how I knew that she was in the spirit world, somewhere closeby, resting from all her earthly cares and sorrows.  I know that she is now working to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who didn't hear of it when they were alive.  I know she is still learning in spirit paradise and that she is anxiously waiting to be reunited with her loved ones and to rise in a perfected body at the time of the Messiah's second coming.

After that I was privileged to sing with my three remaining sisters and my two sister-in-laws.  Lauren and Amber are very talented musically, but we Brimley girls at least have strong, pretty voices.  Claire has an exceptionally beautiful voice.  I recorded one of our practices and I'll let you watch it even if it is rather embarrassing and even though the lovely Amber is never in the shot.  (The only way I know how to do this is thru YouTube, so if someone knows how to upload a MVI to blogger, please let me know).

It is a song about Christ that I've loved since I was a child.  Mom & Adam picked it for the funeral.

Gabe got up to talk and made everyone in the room cry.  He talked about how much fun his mom was and how she made sure that he and his brothers always were having fun.  He said he loved his annual road trips to California and Mexico and just spending hours in the front seat talking to his mom.

Dad spoke last.  He is the bishop of his congregation.  He talked a lot about how Sarah had made a lot of mistakes in her life but that she eventually learned the power of repentance and how Jesus could wipe away her sins.  He also mentioned how using drugs, including marijuana were part of her treatment and basically how they were acceptable for medical use (correct me if I'm wrong, Dad).  He talked about how she wanted to be a good example to her boys and how she had gone back to church and thru the temple in the past few years.  It was a really great talk.

Lastly, my parents' stake president spoke, as an official ecclesiastical leader at an LDS funeral service.  I was annoyed at first because he didn't know Sarah but his talk was beautiful.  I loved how he said that The Church is a temporary, earthly organization but the family is eternal.

My brother-in-law Trent finished with a tearful prayer that made me sob.  He is usually very unemotional but he is a daddy through and through and his heart aches for his sweet nephews.

I loved seeing old family friends like Scott Malone, the Harpers, and the Allens afterwards.  We had a beautiful display of tons of photos, scrapbooks, etc.  And we played this slideshow over and over for everyone to see while they visited and snacked.

This slideshow isn't exactly all in chronilogical order and the music cuts off at the end, but I was up until 1:00 am the night before making it and I still love it, though it's far from perfect.  I went thru over a thousand photos to choose about 150 of the very best to remember Sarah at her most vibrant and beautiful.  She was a gorgeous woman inside and out.

7 comments:

Aaryn & Mánon said...

Emily,

Thank you for your post. I'm sorry I couldn't make it to Sarah's funeral but I know it was good. And you guys sung beautifully! Great slide show and video, made me tear up. And I know you will see her again soon. Hope you are doing well. Love reading your blog. Now that I'm in between classes I've been trying to catch up to mine;)

Love ya lots,
Mánon

Whitney said...

I love it Em! I am so sorry your sister is gone but I am sure you will always feel her close by. You have a beautiful voice that I never knew about. I'm sure you were a great sister to Sarah--she is lucky to have you!
Love you lots!

Skye said...

That sounds like a beautiful service, I wish I could have been there. She will be missed.

Teddy said...

Emily, I've sat here, trying to think of what to say, hoping some comforting inspiration would hit. It hasn't. Just know you are loved. I am sorry. I've never had a sister to lose, but it must be a refining fire. Your post was beautiful, thank you for sharing your experience. Burdens shared are lighter.
Teddy

stephanie said...

perfect recap, emily. it was a beautiful service.

lauren said...

Emily-I’m so sorry you lost your sister. I must admit that though I didn’t know her, I shed tears just reading what you wrote. Here’s a giant H-U-G just for you.

Annie said...

Thank you Emily for the recap. I got a condensed report from Christina and my mom but yours of course was much more detailed. Sarah is a beautiful person and surely is at peace. I pray that your heart will feel light and your sorrow will lessen. I can only imagine the heartache I would feel to loose a sister. Love you Ems!