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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Memorial Service

July 24, 2008 - Thursday morning

The couple of days prior to the Memorial Service had me feeling nervous and unable to follow through with our plans. I felt relieved that Thursday morning I woke up feeling calm, reassured that we would make it through the events of the day. I know we were being strengthened by the countless prayers being offered for us, as well as being completely surrounded by our families. We were overwhelmed as we found out that more and more of our family members were traveling from long distances to be with us. Between Marc's family and my family, we had 17 family members here with us. We are so blessed to have the most supportive, loving families.

At 8am we held a private viewing with just our families. We sang "Teach Me to Walk in the Light" and had an opening prayer. The feeling in the room was one of the most incredible feelings I've ever felt. It was the most powerful feeling of the purest love. It was sacred. As each member of the family had their moment to say their good-byes to Elliana and Emmaline, there was not a dry eye in the room. The Spirit was strong, feelings were tender. Marc and I were overwhelmed with love for our girls... and with love for our family members who already loved our girls so much. It is a moment we won't ever forget.

At the entrance to the chapel, we had this set up:

At 9am we held the Memorial Service. Again, we were overwhelmed with the response from so many of our friends who took time out of their morning to come mourn with us. Our hearts were deeply touched by the love and support we were receiving. We opened the service with "Be Still my Soul" and an opening prayer by my oldest brother. Then, I shared some of my feelings and the assurance we have felt that we are bound to our little girls forever.

For the special musical number my sisters sang "My Heavenly Father Loves Me"... it was the song I would always sing to Elliana and Emmaline when I was driving in the car alone. It has always felt like it was their song. My sisters sounded like angels! They did a beautiful job!

At the front of the podium, we had this beautiful picture, that we realized later went together so beautifully with the special musical number:

Marc followed the song by sharing his thoughts about the Plan of Salvation and how we've been strengthened every step of the way, because of our testimonies. Our bishop, then, shared some sweet feelings, giving his assurance of the eternal nature of our family. We closed the meeting with "Families Can Be Together Forever" and a prayer by Marc's Mom. 

As we greeted those who came to the service, our hearts were so full. We were hugged and kissed, we were filled with love. So many people were so generous and sweet. We were completely overwhelmed with love. It filled us to overflowing.

Never before in my life have I understood better the power and beauty of the covenant to "bear one another's burdens, that they may be light" and to "mourn with those that mourn" and "comfort those who stand in need of comfort." Being on the receiving end of such pure acts of love softened our hearts and truly filled us with the comfort and the strength we so desperately needed. Our burdens were lifted, our hearts were comforted in a very real way.

We know there were many who weren't able to be there physically, but whose love and support were felt so strongly in our hearts. We are so grateful for their love and prayers for us, even from a distance.

My brothers, Danny and Jamie, carrying the casket from the chapel



~kamie~ said...

Hugs. Lots of them.

Thinking of you.

Lots of Love.

Ence Family said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful service for you girls. You have such a supportive family too. I am glad to see that some of them could make it there for you guys. I now wish we would have had a service and grave site for our little Jayden but we did not do either. Thank goodness for the gospel and our beliefs that we will be together soon. That is the only way we have gotten through it not having him here. We also have that picture of Christ and the baby hanging in our home for us to remember our little Jayden. Take Care. We still think of you often.