Thursday, May 23, 2013

Funeral - Linkin Dallin Hamilton - March 30, 2013

I've finally gone through the pictures from Link's funeral & uploaded them. I know it seems like there are a LOT. There are - and these are only probably 20% of all the pictures. I apologize, too, because I don't think they are in order, but I tried. 

The day was really a blur to me. The poem "Footprints" really means more to me now. This was definitely a day where He carried me. 

There are so many things about that day that I can't remember - I still was in shock that it was really happening. But there are a few things about that day that stand out to me and I hold in my heart. The first was the love and care of family in preparing us for this horrific day. They helped care for me, my daughters, and my home. When we got to the church, some of the first people I remember seeing were Jason's family from Texas - his dad, his cousin, his aunt. Bless their hearts for coming so far & being there for us.  Also -  seeing the displays that my beautiful, loving sisters and cousin had worked so hard to put together - touched my heart. Pictures of him. Flowers. His favorite toys. Blankets. Shoes. So lovingly and beautifully put together. 

Then, as a little family, we walked into the room where our sweet son and brother lay. We had talked to the girls the night before about how the room would look and where Link's body would be. The girls were curious. They touched him. They were reverent and quiet. We said one last family prayer with our baby boy there. We prayed that Link would be with us. That our Savior would support us. That we would be able to get through the day. 

Then came the hugs. Oh... the sweet, sweet loving hugs and words of comfort and love from so many people. So many of YOU! It was so humbling and amazing to feel your love. Though, it was hard to stand there. You can probably see from the pictures how heavy my heart was and how often I had to turn to my sweetheart for physical and spiritual support. I know this sounds funny, but a part of my brain registered multiple similarities from our wedding day. Lots of pictures, a video playing in the background, a book to sign, a line with hugs from loved ones who have come far and wide, flowers everywhere. Except this was some horrific parallel universe. Instead of pictures of the happy couple... there was pictures of my baby boy who was dead. Instead of a video playing happy love songs, it was playing heartbreaking, melancholy songs. Instead of tears of happiness and hope, everyone was crying tears of sadness, of missing this precious son, brother, cousin, nephew, grandson, friend, etc. And instead of a line full of joyful family, our line included only us and a tiny casket holding the body of our baby. 

Tucking my son into his casket and watching as they closed it was one of the most difficult moments of my life. 

The funeral was as sweet and loving as it could be. I have to tell you that the first song we sang - Nearer My God to Thee - was a moment of perfect clarity amid the chaos in my mind and heart. Hearing so many friends, neighbors, family, loved ones, singing that song was so powerful. I FELT your love through that song. We were in the front row and it was like a wave of love that overtook me. I could not sing a note - I felt your love so powerfully. The talks were wonderful. I am so glad I have a CD of them. They're on my phone now & I listen to them as I clean - or when I am questioning or hurting or angry or feeling guilty. The stake president from our last stake spoke - it was such a personal, loving talk.  Our wonderful bishop talked. Jason was somehow able to share some precious memories and scriptures. The cousins sang "I am a Child of God." It was so sweet.  My friend, Diane, read the poem she wrote, which I'm including below:

Healing in His Hands, by Diane Bealer - dedicated to Jason and Heidi Hamilton

A tiny babe lays sleeping so peaceful and so calm
And while he lays there without pain we seek a healing balm
A mother’s arms are open she yearns to feel his warmth
To kiss his cheeks and hold him close it was she who brought him forth
A father’s heart is broken he longs to see that smile
To sit and talk and play with him if only for a while
The grief the pain the aching will it ever fade away?
It doesn’t seem to have an end it must be here to stay
But through the pain and hunger to have that baby near
Comes the Savior of Mankind their prayers He always hears
It’s He alone that has the balm to bind those bleeding wounds
For He knows  in time they won’t always be consumed
He's waiting and He’s watching for times to bless and heal
He knows there’s nothing like a child that makes this pain so real
He aches to hold those parents and show His love so dear
The scars to show He knows their pain Only He can nobly wear
So turn to Him and give your pain He strengthens those that fall
His love is here for all who seek The King of One and All
So when your world is crashing down and pain is all you see
Comfort is never far away if you can make it to your knees

Isn't it beautiful? The words are absolutely spot-on. I always talk about (and dream about) kissing those cherished cheeks of his. It brought me more joy than I can express. Jason talks about missing that precious smile. And the hunger... yes the hunger. Such a beautiful poem. 

The day was beautiful. The time at cemetery was short, but there was hope and love in the sunshine and the presence of all our loved ones. 

Thank you to ALL of you who came to support us. Many of you didn't know what to say, but it didn't matter. You being there expressed to us more than words could ever tell how much you loved us and wanted to help. 

As difficult (this word is absolutely insufficient, but will have to do) as this day was, I am so thankful that it happened. I think of pioneer women who lost babies along the trail. There were no flowers. No video. No pictures. No beautiful casket. They did not have hundreds of people there supporting them. Many of them buried their babies in shallow graves - never to visit them again. 

This day was a sweet tribute to a baby boy who changed my life forever. I am so very blessed and privileged to be Link's mother. 


Ryan and Shannan Hoffman said...

I wish so much that Ryan and I could have been there that day. I was thinking of you constantly. Still do... daily. Love you.

Get Hooked said...

Still no good words to share. Hugs and prayers!

Cindy Lou Who said...

I'm sorry it took me so long to read this post! My eyes wet, my memory stirred, I continue to pray for your comfort...always.

I love you guys and I was so, so happy to see you at Mapleton!!!

Thanks for sharing your sweet thoughts and pictures!

Patricia Potts said...

The truth is that I could have watched this video over and over. It was such a hard time but it was also a time filled with deep love and tender caring.
I first read your post on my phone but I wanted to see the pictures on my computer. I think there are so many beautiful moments that are captured.
Thank you for posting this. Love, mom