In God’s Arms – Part 7 (Jul-Aug 2002)

By Matt Dabbs

In God’s Arms: Part 7

Burying my brother

The following day, my mom and I went to the cemetery to pick out a plot for Greg. We found a place as close my grandparents as we could. Greg’s grave would overlook a beautiful valley filled with lovely foliage. We thought Greg would have liked that.

My dad, mom, David and I made a trip to the funeral home to make arrangements. Several questions had to be answered. We filed past the different caskets in an effort to choose the one that would best suit Greg. The solid oak casket stood out above the rest. Greg loved oak. Leaves and acorns were engraved on the casket lid. Greg loved the outdoors. This casket would be perfect.

The funeral was Wednesday at 10:00am. That morning I awoke early. My heart was pounding and my nerves were shaky. Thoughts, once again, began racing through my mind. I grabbed a pad of paper and a pen and began writing. My hand couldn’t keep up with the emotion pouring out of my heart. I was writing my last tribute to my precious brother. The thoughts flowed from my youngest memory with him up until the last few days I spent with him in the hospital. I scribbled my last note down and decided I’d better start getting ready for the funeral. I asked David to type the reading. I was too nervous to handle that simple job. I prayed for courage to be able to stand up and read it at the appropriate time. I wanted to share a very special part of my brother’s life with others.

Time passed quickly. The house was filling up with familiar faces. Soon, it was time to go to the church.

My family was led to the front row of the church. I wanted to be as close to my brother as possible.

The time came for me to read my writing. With God’s help, I shared my heartfelt thoughts about Greg. I was so proud of the person he had become and how courageously he had faced his own death.

As I looked out over the audience, many of the faces became a blur. A pleasant thought popped into my mind. While Greg was in the hospital, he had said, “I never knew so many people loved me. I never knew there was so much love in the world.” Greg still didn’t know just how many people loved and cared about him. I couldn’t help but wonder if Greg was looking down on all of these loved ones at that very moment.

The funeral was over in a very short time. My mom lay over Greg’s body and cried her heart out. It was extremely difficult to watch. David and I held her. Amber, my seven year old, was crying hard, too. We thought the scene was becoming too much for her to handle. My aunt pulled her away. Amber became very upset. (We later found out Amber wanted to stay close to Greg because this would be her last opportunity.)

My mom placed a red rose in Greg’s hands. The rose was from a bouquet of flowers given to her by Natalie. The card on the flowers was addressed from “Natalie and Greg.

Another red rose was lying in the casket with a note that said, “See ya soon. Love, Pam.” We all choked up when we read it. Greg had teased Pam in the hospital about heaven. With a grin on his face, he had told her, “We’ll be free agents in heaven. You’d better watch out. I can get as close to you as I want.”

The drive to the cemetery was cold and quiet. The sun shone brightly through the windows. The heat of emotion inside us warmed our inner being as we stepped out into the cold air.

Many loved ones were there to comfort us. A van full of friends from church had driven from my hometown. I was pleasantly surprised and joyful to see them. That day I desperately needed my friends.

Next week: A tribute to my brother

categoria commentoNo Comments dataFebruary 11th, 2014
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This author published 1598 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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