A Life Well Lived {Part 3}

Just tuning in? This is a 3 Part series on our beloved Papa’s Celebration of Life service.

Catch up here:

Part 1

Part 2 

  While the men left the church in front of the casket, this beautiful song played by the Wailin’ Jenny’s, it makes me cry every time!

 As it played, we headed outside into the crisp Spring air, the sun shone its bright promise of happier days to come……

161819 a19 b20

  I don’t know what to say here, except there is something SO final about these moments as the casket goes into the ground.  We KNOW he is not in there, yet, we also realize, we saw that person on this Earth for the last time, and we won’t see them again until Paradise.


  It was a simple, but poignant moment out there at the gravesite.  Pastor Chad so choked up he could scarcely read the 23 Psalm, Papa’s favorite to have read to him during the past month.

  As we watched the casket lowered into the ground, the tears fell and the sobs could be heard for the grandkids, the missed hugs, future fishing trips and family dinners. 

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood……

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.2117.jpg

  Waiting inside was a Memory Table in Papa’s honor, and a delicious meal, prepared with the loving hands of Don’s church family.

I thought the Camo tablecloths were the PERFECT touch!  He would’ve approved.  🙂

And last but not least, a surprise from the company Papa had worked at for 40 years.
An “In Memory” sign on the side of his old truck. 
  See the print on the letters up there?

Mossy camo. 

  They knew him well!

  Thanks so much for taking the time from your busy week to go through Papa’s service with me, for watching videos and hanging through 3 photo laden posts…it means the world to me!

Bless you,

22 thoughts on “A Life Well Lived {Part 3}

  1. Tonya & family,
    First and foremost, thank you for sharing this week about your papa. It must be hard without him as I can only imagine. Thankfully, he is with Jesus now! 🙂 Destiny did such an awesome job singing for her papa. It brought tears to my eyes! I’m praying that in the days to come all of you have peace.
    God Bless You!!

  2. Tonya, as always, your post of Papa Don’s homegoing celebration has been so touching and well written and photographed. Brought me to tears as I remembered the passing of my own folks and the love that was extended. Thank you for sharing your gifts of connecting with all of us as you and the family have gone through this difficult time. Praying that all of you will be comforted with wonderful memories and happier times to come. God bless you!

  3. I have been following the story of Papa since Christmas, reading all of your posts. I think its amazing how you and your family handled such difficult moments in your lives. I really admire you and your children and Dale of course. Life goes on and you have showed that so many times in your posts! Stay well, enjoy your beautiful children!

  4. Tonya,
    I have never commented on your blog before, but I read it every day. I want you to know that I truly enjoy the way you write and have felt your grief recently. You did a wonderful job with these last 3 posts. It is never easy to lose a parent, as my husband and I no longer have our parents with us. I am praying for all of you.
    Cindy in Nebraska

  5. What a beautiful finale! I cried reading the words to that heart stirring hymn…yes, praising our Savior, even in the dark times, because we do have that Blessed Assurance that HE is with us every step of the way. Those camo tablecloths were the PERFECT touch!! How awesome to know of the support the family and church family has given you. God has gifted you Sweet Friend, with a gift of words. You have shared this process so beautifully. Love you all. XO

  6. Tonya,
    My deepest condolences to you and your family. Thank you for sharing a life of a man taken too soon. It brought many tears to my eyes as I remembered to pain of losing my own father. My question to you, how can you remain so deep in your faith? The grief for me is overwhelming and I have so much anger. I want to know the secret in remaining faithful. I do not have this. I am very angry and blame God for this. Please help…

    • Bless you for your honesty! When I commited my life to the Lord, I in essence, gave Him full control…that means choosing to trust Him and His plan, even when it’s hard. {like this situation, or even more so, in my marriage situation}

      The Lord knew the number of my father in laws days before he was even born. {Job 14:5} I chose to trust that this big plan, one I cannot see or understand, was to bring Papa hope and a future. {Jeremiah 29:11} Life is one HUGE tapestry, and I trust that even though I can only see the mess of strings on the back, there is a beautiful beautiful picture happening on the other side of this tapestry of life.

      If the Lord wanted our Papa home, then who am I to question this big picture? I can’t, I don’t! And, I am so so excited to know that we are not here on Earth forever, that one day I WILL hug Papa’s neck again.

      You know what else? Given the chance, Papa wouldn’t chose to come back. He wouldn’t! It’s far too AMAZING in Paradise where he is now privileged to live out eternity! WOW!
      Your Abba Father, Daddy in Heaven, knows you are angry, His heart breaks for you. He just wants you to crawl up in His lap and let Him comfort you in the way only He can. And then, then you will have peace that surpasses understanding.
      Allow yourself to work through the stages of grief, but don’t stop on one and live there, keeping moving through the stages, committing each one to prayer. I know you will find peace and joy again!
      Thank you so much for sharing your heart with me today. Hugs, T

  7. God’s strength is certainly shining through your weakness in your time of grief. Thank you for posting this painful time for your family… As an outsider looking in, all I see is the hand of God, and His grace made known as you continue to point to Him. I have prayed and cried along with you as I’ve read your heart poured out on my computer screen. I will continue to lift you up as you get your feet under you again and find the next new rhythm of life.

  8. Tears fill my eyes as I read all three post’s. Thank You for sharing such a personal part of your lives! Many hugs and prayers to you and your family. Feeling connected to a family I will never meet. Michelle from Nebraska.

  9. Lovely tribute to a wonderful man!
    When you feel up to it Tonya can you share the music playing while viewing the slideshow.

  10. Tonya and Family, Your recent journey with death was so like what my husband and I experienced a year ago September. My mother in law’s story with cancer was very similar to what your father in laws was.
    I thought I was doing pretty good to not get broken up over your first two post on the funeral. This last one brought all of the tears again. You are so right about that final farewell. It is so very hard.
    As you face the coming weeks, and life goes on you will think you are doing pretty good, but then it will hit you again. The tears will come and the longing to see them once again will be there. It lessens with time, but you never stop missing them.
    The memories keep my mother in law alive for us. I think in a way that’s how others remain with us. A part of them always lives in us.
    Thanks for sharing all of this with such grace. May the Lord bring all of you a peace that is beyond our understanding. Blessings, Kathy

  11. I just had to take the time to let you know how much I appreciate your sharing the last few weeks of Papa’s life and journey into Heaven…..I feel like I knew him well and I have been praying for you all in the last few weeks….your precious little babies will have a beautiful Guardian Angel smiling down on them until you all meet up again….God bless you all

  12. Thanks for sharing all of this with us. I believe that posting these intimate moments will help you keep his memory alive.

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