about a month ago we had to make the agonizing decision about where to keep noah's ashes. it's obviously something no parent wants to think about and for us was just incredibly overwhelming. at first we felt like the only place that seemed 'right' was having his ashes at home. this was probably just because we didn't know what else to do and had no desire to put them in some sort of unknown, far off, insignificant place.
then our loving church graciously offered a spot in their memorial garden, as a gift in noah's honor. and after some thought we realized this was the place we wanted noah's earthly remains to be kept.
one of the main reasons we chose the memorial garden is because it's a place where others can visit and remember noah, and including others in his life and memory is incredibly important to us.
on friday we had a very small service dedicating noah's earthly remains to his final resting place. for weeks i was dreading it. i was worried. i was scared. i avoided thinking about it. we were burying our son and that made me so mad i can't even put it into words.
but looking back on that day, i'm thankful. our very dear pastor who married my husband and i three years ago, led us in a sweet and sacred time where scriptures were declared, honest prayers spoken and our closest family read the most tender and loving letters they had written to our boy. it was personal, special and heartbreaking and heart-filling all at the same time.
what i once dreaded turned into a time i will never forget. i'm more in love with my family then ever. and that word 'my' includes my husband's side of the family, as well. a group of people i've always loved but i realized this weekend that over time the title 'in-laws' have dropped and they have become my family too. and i love them in a deeper, more personal way. another gift of noah's life. thanks, buddy.
somewhere between yesterday and a million years ago was the day noah went to be with Jesus forever. (on a standard calendar it's two months ago today.) and with my husband's arm firmly around me the entire time, and sweat running down my shaking legs, we said good-bye. and it was the most difficult thing i have ever had to do. i didn't want to leave. i clung to the lettering on the marble. i wept as i pathetically tried to 'care for noah' by cleaning his little spot, wiping dust away from the stone and making sure it was the perfect resting place for him, my sweet son.
behind this stone is what remains on earth of our much beloved and cherished little boy, and his love notes from grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, and mommy and daddy.
but noah's tomb is empty.
because, we believe, noah is not there. his earthly remains are, but he is not. and though that little brown wooden box is filled with what remains of noah's precious and perfect body, what really makes noah the baby and son we love so much, his spirit and soul, are somewhere else much better.
noah's place in the memorial garden, with the waterfall, scriptures engraved on stone, and gorgeous green plants, is a clear reminder to us of noah's eternal life. and, God knows, we need that reminder.
the angel said to the women, "do not be afraid; for i know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. come, see the place where He was lying. go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into galilee, there you will see Him; behold, i have told you." (matthew 28:5-7)
|BELLEVUE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH MEMORIAL GARDEN|
*photo cred goes to auntie amy*