Free to Embrace Eternity

Our Memorial Service to celebrate my son was this past Saturday.  It went perfectly as planned.  I picked out the scripture and the music.  After finding the recordings, Kristy made a CD for one of the church members to play at the appropriate times.  Our dear neighbor and friend carried the crucifix in ahead of the pastor, followed by the 5 closest family members with all others standing in the church.  Just prior to the start of the service I had “On Eagle’s Wings” played as a signal that we were starting, and because I wanted to fit that piece in.   Neighbor Larry also did the first reading from Isaiah.  We had practiced so he would get the pace and clarity I wanted.  Although it wasn’t a problem since the words were written in the bulletin its fun to note that he said “A reading from the book of Israel”.  Kristy did the second reading perfectly which was from the book of First John.  I wanted the message to go out the fact that true love is from God and that Joey truly had much love in him.  Our pastor did a beautiful job.  There were more than 50 people in attendance plus a number of ladies from the church who worked the food and the ushers who truly made everything run so smoothly.  It was a pleasure to see some family and friends we hadn’t seen in a while.


I wrapped the container of Joe’s ashes in satin and added a lace trim.  I had the arrangement made to place in front of 3 white roses.  This was placed on a table in front of the altar.  For me the 3 roses symbolize first the Holy Trinity, but also the three of us as one loving and family unit – Joe, Kris and me.  I picked the lace because it reminds me of the body and blood of Christ – see the grape like clusters along the bottom and the circle/wafer of the center row?  And even the stars of Heaven are present.


Being such a private person, we set up a small display table to hold photos mostly.

I made prayer cards, I suppose you could say, by collecting photos and printing 4” x 6” photos.  On the back side I added his dates and the prayer of St Francis of Assisi.  If anyone takes this message of giving to others in memory of Joe with them, just think of the good that could be shared.



I made the Guest sign in book from Stampin’ Up’s quality card stock.  I used night of navy and very vanilla.  The words “In Loving Memory” on the cover are made with the Cricut using basic gray and vanilla.  The cross is stamped and heat embossed with silver.  The flowers are from the “Heartfelt Thanks” SU set and are cut out.  The butterflies are from a die by SU.  The inside is computer generated as were the pages with the lines titled “Guests”.  The book is tied together with SU’s crocheted trim.

The pastor printed this on the back of the bulletins that I wrote.  It was my attempt to find peace within as I face each day without him.

As I look out across my world each day

I will see you in its renewing effort of life.

The joy that filled your eyes as you watched nature dance,

from the eagle, the sandhill cranes, the colorful dragonflies

to the mighty alligators and precious baby turtles you saved,

I will forever see them now with a remembered love of you.

You will always be the brightest light of remembered joy

in the corner of my heart.

May you be wrapped in love

true to the love you always gave to others

now, finally at peace,

finally free to embrace eternity.

Love, Mom


2 thoughts on “Free to Embrace Eternity

  1. Such a lovely posting, Joyce. I’m glad all went well. I know you poured your heart and soul into the planning of the service. Blessings to you and yours.


  2. Joyce – You had stopped by my blog and left a comment some time ago. I was going through my old emails and came across your comment, visited your blog and found this about your son. I am SO extremely sorry for your loss. My sister lost her son about four years ago (27 years old) and I’ve watched the heartache that she’s been through. Thankfully you have your faith to see you through the hard days. Will add you and your family to my prayers. ~ Abby

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