Monday, July 31, 2006

This was the weekend of Donna's funeral...

For those of you who is not sure who I am talking about, she was Kendal's cousin. On her way back from Alberta she was involved in a fatal accident with a semi.

It was a hard weekend for all the obvious reasons...Donna was young, and we loved her,

but she was also supposed to be married in two weeks and had just been visiting her fiance.

and goodbyes are never easy when you care about people.

Kendal, Brandy, Bree and I left Regina at 7.30am on Sat morning to go to the funeral which was in Eston, Sask. We got there at about 12.30 pm. We went straight for the church first, as everyone was meeting there, and they were also having the viewing until 2pm.

Kendal, Bree and I went in to view Donna before there were a lot of people. She was in her wedding dress, and she looked beautiful. Her sister and Krista had done her make up and her hair was done nice. She had some items in with her that had been precious to her in her life. Someone also stuck a picture of Grandma Wikman in there so they could go together. It was a difficult viewing for me and the girls as we have never done that before, and I haven't had time to process how I feel about that, but it wasn't what I expected either. What struck me profoundly, was how different people look when their souls are no longer there.

Bree handled herself with amazing maturity and grace. Of course she cried, and she also says she needs to think about it more, but she said that she feels it is a good way to say goodbye, as it seemed more real for her, and she got to see Donna one last time.

Brandy didn't want to go in at first, and I said that she didn't have too. She did change her mind later though, and I went in with her. She also handled it fairly well, although she is more sensitive in some ways and had a more difficult time dealing with it. She also wasn't sure how she felt about it.

I was very proud of both of my girls.

The funeral was very nice, and touched on many aspects of who Donna was as a person. It was such a celebration of her life,and I was very touched that her sister and two brothers and their spouses, Krista and Scott, got up and sang a Sarah Mclaughlin song called Ice Cream. Donna's sister Deanna played piano and did lead vocals, her brother Dwayne played guitar and sang one verse, David's wife, Krista sang with Deanna, brother David played his Sax, and Deanna's husband Scott played trumpet. They have never sounded that good. It was a beautiful tribute.

Your love is better than ice cream
Better than anything else that I’ve tried
And your love is better than ice cream
Everyone here know how to fight

And it’s a long way down
It’s a long way down
It’s a long way down to the place
Where we started from

Your love is better than chocolate
Better than anything else that I’ve tried
Oh love is better than chocolate
Everyone here knows how to cry

It’s a long way down
It’s a long way down
It’s a long way down to the place
Where we started from...


Linda and Ralph also had some things to say (Donna's parents) and they had a slide show of pictures from Donna's life.

The internment was at the Eston Cemetary. Kendal was one of the pall bearers.

We sang hymns at the graveside.

Kendal and I stayed until the afternoon on the Sunday, and had a chance to visit with a lot of family we haven't seen in a long time. That part is always good, no matter what the circumstances. We all congrated at Linda and Ralphs house for the next couple days and visited...We had a turkey supper on Sat night over there...The town of Eston really stepped up to bat to help out....There was a huge lightning storm on Sat night which we all sat outside and was pretty cool.

I spent some time with David and Krista's daughter.(Caitlin) and that was probably the best time I had....She was in love with my Chihuahua.....and she is just an all around character....I learned all kinds of things about how badgers should be in jail because they steal, and how she was bit by a tarantula. (without her parents knowing apparently.) She also has a knack for asking a whole bunch of questions that I had to find very tactful answers for....

Her brother Jaben is also very cute.

We watched videos from family moments in Donna's life.

and all of a sudden I am very thankful for all the pictures and video that i have taken of my family....

We finally left at 1pm on Sunday. The trip back was pretty uneventful, except for almost bottoming out the car on the road in Eston....There was a great big ridge in the middle of the road....we thought we had blown a tire, it hit so hard, but the car seems fine....

We ate at Tacotime in Swift made us sick.

We got home around 7pm.

Again, Ralph and Linda and family, we just want to extend our condolences, and say how sorry we are.

Our thoughts are with you...

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13. Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18. Therefore encourage each other with these words.