March 8 2008 ~ Jenna’s memorial service

As I type this I can’t help but think about the numbers in today’s date. 8 is the number of new beginnings in the bible. As Jenna’s life here on earth has ended, and as we celebrated it today, I hope that there will be some kind of ‘new beginning’ in my life and that of my family. I opened my bible randomly yesterday and my eyes fell on that passage in Isaiah where God says: “Behold I am doing a new thing, even now it shall spring forth. Shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

It was a dismally rainy day yesterday and my heart ached on the way to the cemetry at the thought of burying our little girl. But my thoughts turned to the fact that without rain there would be no rivers in the desert. The peace of God came so supernaturally there at the grave site. Jenna’s simple little white casket was so beautiful with the pink and white flowers on top. Richard’s sister’s first thought was that those should have been her wedding flowers, but as the lay her pink rose on the casket she realised that the casket was white, like a wedding dress, and Jenna was a perfect little bride with her bridegroom Jesus.

Today’s celebration of Jenna’s life was long (time-wise) and full. We started late due to a power failure, and spent a good long time in worship. We wanted to honor Jesus first and foremost and praise him for giving Jenna to us. Our pastor’s daughter wrote a beautiful poem, several people came up to share, I managed to struggle through my song ( my mouth was so dry I could hardly sing), and the balloons did a joyous dance in the strong wind as we released them together.

A friend from my son’s school put it very aptly when she said: “I came here feeling sad because Jenna died, but I am leaving here feeling glad that she lived.” It was truly a celebration, I am sure it was strange and foreign to many but my heart is satisfied that it was the best celebration we could have mustered and I think it left Jenna and Jesus smiling.

We stayed at the church for a surprisingly long time afterwards. I think we only came home around 4 pm. I tried very hard not to, but eventually I couldn’t help taking a little nap. I hope it doesn’t mess up my sleep tonight. I have been waking up after about 3 or 4 hours every night, finding myself unable to go back to sleep.

On a totally unrelated note, I got an email on Friday telling me that Proverbs 31 magazine would like to publish my blog entry entitled “The Masterpiece” in one of their editions soon. I was asked to sign a release form and to write a little bit more background to the story. I also have to submit a bio of about 50 words. For me, right now, it is hard to think of a bio that doesn’t scream out that I am currently dealing with the death of my 3 and a half year old girl. I haven’t replied to the email from the magazine yet, for that reason. How do I write just a ‘normal’ bio? Maybe you all can help me a bit with this. 🙂

Here is my pastor’s 13 year old daugher Emily’s poem:

I’ll miss a little girl,
Her smiles, and giggles,
And bouncy golden curls.
How can I not miss a little girl?
With so many hugs, pirouettes,
And little pink barrettes.
A little girl I held when she was tiny and new,
And then I watched as she grew.
I’ll miss a little girl, who could steal a heart,
Faster than a lolly-pop,
And made it hard to tell her to stop.
How long can I miss this little girl?
I think forever!
Because forever is who she knows,
And it is where she lives.
Forever is the one who takes,
And the one who gives.
He holds her in forever,
like the prize I know she is.
So, I’ll hold her in my heart forever,
Because I know that is where she lives.

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11 responses to “March 8 2008 ~ Jenna’s memorial service

  1. we weep with those who weep…

    greg and linda

  2. Sumi! Sumi!
    Truly Jenna’s life was and still is one unending celebration!
    I love Emily’s poem!
    I am waiting with you for that something new the Lord is beginning. Lief vir jou! Mariana.

  3. Sumi,
    Tell Emily that her poem is awesome and so incredibly sweet. Jenna’s celebration of life sounds beautiful. I doubt that anyone would ever think it strange. Isaiah always speaks to those of us who are going through trials. Read 41:10, that verse gets me through some of the toughest trials.

  4. Jenna’s celebration of life sound so beautiful! I doubt you will ever stop missing and thinking of Jenna. She will always be a very special part of you.
    Emily’s poem is lovely.
    We are still praying for your family.
    (((Sumi & family)))

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Sumi. I have been thinking so much of you and your family. I will always remember Jenna as the beautiful baby that stole all our hearts. Even though we are so far away, know that I am holding you close in my heart.

  6. Sumi,
    Thank you for sharing this with us. Emily’s poem is so perfect. Please take some time to rest. I think it is wonderful that your poem was published. God will give the strength to do the bio when the time is right.
    I’ll keep you in my prayers.
    Love,
    Lisa

  7. Emily’s poem is so very precious and I’m sure you will treasure it always as you do Jenna.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. I thank God for giving me tears to shed in both sorrow and joy.

  8. Pingback: Monday Morning Meanderings. Vol.35 « the view from the juniper tree

  9. I’d just be honest with the P31 people…

    Praying you continue to know the sustaining grace of our God, the God of peace and all comfort…

  10. Thanks Lisa. I emailed them this morning and they said that they are all about being real and honest and I should include a mention of Jenna in my bio.

  11. Dearest Sumi – There are no words sufficient to convey my sadness at the loss of your beautiful daughter. I loved seeing the photos of her in her ballet outfit – I can see her dancing and radiant in front of the Throne. Please know that there is no rush to write a bio or edit your article. We will hold it until you are ready. Nothing is normal now, and this isn’t they way life should be. I know, I lost a niece a few years ago. We will be here when you are ready.
    In His Love, Glynnis Whitwer – editor P31 Woman.

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