“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…