“The days after were a blur,” Andrew recalls. He spent the next several days communicating with the police on the accident. Next, making plans for his family’s funeral became his main focus. He wanted it to be perfect and everything they would have wanted. He said, “It made me feel I was in control of something, because everything else was out of my control.”
Eight of his friends helped Andrew organize, rotated on staying with him – even for his 3:00AM daily walks. While making preparations for the funeral, one of his friends visited the local flower shop. When the florist inquired on what he wanted, his response was, “I don’t know. I am a man. But, I want it like Elton John. I want (insert your own explicative here) flowers everywhere!”
Andrew still laughs about that. He said during that time, he had never cried more. But, there were also times, he had never laughed as much. I believe that laughter is a part of God’s grace. It helps you push through to the next day – and sometimes, just to the next hour.
The day of the funeral came, and Andrew said, “It was perfect.” Stacey, Joshua, and Georgia were all three buried together in the same casket – a request Andrew had to get special permission for. He decided it would be best if he spoke at their funeral. “I wanted to let people know to not take anything for granted.”
“The detail that was achieved was breathtaking. When the casket was lowered, I threw rose petals onto the casket, as I did not want the sound of dirt hitting it. Then, three doves were released at the same time.”
Is it just me? Or, are you sitting back right now in your comfy chair trying to soak all of this in? Most of us probably don’t want to go there in our minds. It’s just too much. And, there is so much, still, that I take for granted.
You can only imagine the added grief the holidays brought for Andrew. And, when I think about how one manages to get out of bed the next day, I cannot help but think of the grace of God.
How often we say, “I can’t imagine….” And, we can’t. But, I do know that God gives His grace to us as we need it. A grief-stricken father has been given more grace than another. That’s why scripture says, “His grace is sufficient.” A mother who loses her child has a different measure of grace than a mother who has never experienced such loss. He gives us the measure of grace we need – as we need it.
Pictured below are Stacey, Joshua & Georgia Gitsham.
To be continued…
10 responses to “Across the Atlantic – Part Two”
As we need it.
Thanks for sharing. God is good all the time. Now I’m regretting my cranky post 🙂 I think I’ll count my blessings with more heart today.
Andrew, Thank you for allowing Dusty to share you story. I know that we haven’t kept in contact much over the years, but I am honored to call you one of my friends. You have been through something in your life that I can’t even grasp. Sharon and the kids are my world. You are a testament that His grace is sufficient. Hope to see you again one day, and I wish you all the best.
Cari, it’s easy to forget our blessings. So very easy. Cindy Beall says, that “contentent is perspective.” How right she is.
Thank you Andrew and Dusty…I am in Judy’s shoes…SPEECHLESS!
Doug, you are just a precious man….I am always touched with the many, many times you say Sharon and your kids are your world…..WOW
this is an incredibly touching story!
Great account Dusty of a story many of us shrink from even thinking about. Too much pain, way too much loss! I am always amazed though that the cream does come the top when crisis comes our way! I heard a man say once “without the crushing of the grape there is no sweetness in the wine! May God richly bless Andrew!
Hi your blog article came up as an automatically generated feed to my site…… curious I have read your story….. I too am English a transplant to Ohio , obviously I don’t know Andrew ……and the pain he is facing and will continue to face….. I can’t begin to imagine how one deals with something so horrendous….. .although I too have had “All it takes is a phone call to start you screaming” situation…. Andrew there are no words just tears for you Loraine Ritchey of that woman blog. and fellow Brit