As you all know, my cousin Tessa passed on from this life on May 2nd. I wrote about it prior to this post. And, this below picture was taken from my cousin's blog- Seth and Natalie. Sorry, had to steal it!
The funeral was probably the saddest funeral I have ever been to. I have been to grandma's and grandpa's funerals but they weren't as sad as this one.
Me, My mom, my brothers Jess, Adam, and Lance, and my husband Kevin all drove up Friday afternoon to twin falls together. It was fun to all go together. We laughed all the way up there and caught up and I had a good time. The ride wasn't too long- I think it was like three and a half hours. When we got up there, we checked into our hotel and then headed off to the viewing. When we first got there, there were a lot of tears. It was so sad to see her in the casket. Her head was a little swollen and it just didn't look like the tessa I knew. You don't expect people that young to pass on. I hugged my uncle Stephen for a long time and cried a little. He is so strong. Then, I went and talked to his wife, my aunt Julie. She is so amazing. I forgot how much I love her. It was great to hold on to her and cry a little together. For the most part, they were doing a good job of keeping it together. Who knows how. After the first half an hour, things got better and we all were just chatting away. All of my moms siblings and most of their kids were there and it was so fun to hang out and catch up! I love that side of the family! We laughed and told stories about us when we were younger. My cousin Ryan said that my brother Jason and him used to get into a lot of trouble. HAHA and he said that my brother Jason once smoked a cigarette! HAHA I hope Jason is reading this.... That night after the viewing, me and my mom went back to the hotel and watched tv and rested while the boys swam and worked out. I had a horrible cold and didn't feel like getting up and out. I was getting super concerned about my voice since they had asked me to sing. Great. So, at like ten pm, I was out.
The next morning, they had a viewing before the funeral. We all went early so I could practice my song. The song I chose to sing is "Sometime We'll Understand" written by Aaron Waite. I found it on his website. I felt the words were very appropriate for the situation. I wanted to get the message out because I knew there would be a lot of non members there that needed some understanding of why this had happened or what is going to happen in the future. I have a strong testimony that we will see those who pass on again but those who are non members often don't believe that. My voice was pretty cracky and I was getting so worried that I wouldn't be able to make it through the song because I was getting emotional. I kept saying a silent prayer that my Heavenly Father would bless me to get through the song and help the words touch the hearts of others there.
When we went in to the family prayer before they close the casket, her husband Shane came in. He was bawling SO hard. I couldn't look at him. I almost had to plug my ears. It was so sad. He was almost to the point of screaming from the pain he was in. He has never had missionary discussions but him and Tessa had started going to church again. I don't think he had the comfort we had because he doesn't quite have the testimony we have about seeing our loved ones again. He fell to his knees at her casket and was crying out "Tessa, you are the perfect woman I love you, I can't believe this happened, Tessa, don't leave me". I fell APART. It was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever seen in my life. Her sisters and brothers and mom and dad were all bawling as they said goodbye to their sweet Tessa.
By then, I was freaking out that I couldn't sing. I knew I would cry all the way through. BUT, I kept saying a silent prayer that the lord would help me get through it. I cried through the talks that were given. They all did a great job giving their talks and basically wanted the message to get through to not judge her because we don't know what will happen and we don't know what her mental thoughts were when everything happened. I loved that about the talks. That I think was very important for them to talk about.
When I got up to sing, I stopped crying. I got through the song and sang more beautifuly than I have ever sang before. I know I got the message out because Tessa's sister Gina was finally letting her tears out and letting go. I felt the spirit very strongly and knew that the Lord had blessed me to get me through it. After I sang, I cried again. I am thankful the Lord helped me keep it together for a few minutes to sing it. Here are the words to the song:
1. Not now but in the coming years
It may be in the better land
We'll know the meaning of our tears
And there we'll understand
2. We'll catch the broken threads again
And finish what we here began
Heaven will the mysteries explain
And then we'll understand
CHORUS: Then trust in God through all thy days
Fear not for He doth hold thy hand
Though dark thy way still sing and praise
Sometime we'll understand
3.. We'll know why clouds instead of sun
Were over many a cherished plan
Why song has ceased when scarce begun
Tis there we'll understand
4. Why what we long for most of all
Eludes so oft our eager hand
Why hopes are crushed and castles fall
Up there we'll understand
5. God knows the way He holds the key
He guides us with unerring hand
Sometime with tearless eyes we'll see
Yes there we'll understand
I guess my Aunt Julie (tessas mom) went up and told my mom after the funeral that the song I sang some how opened a gate for Gina (Gina isn't quite active yet.. she is a model in Italy and super beautiful) and when we all sang the closing sing, I know That My Redeemer Lives, She said Gina sang it like it was the first time she believed it.
I am glad I was able to touch the hearts of people there. I know everything will be ok and that we will see her again. I know that Tessa is getting help and in a better place now and I now just hope her family gets the comfort they need to move on and I love them all very much. It was a very good experience for me and I will never forget it. Please, pray because prayer is so powerful and can help you get through ANYTHING!
I know that my Redeemer lives.