What I Know Today

Friday, November 13, 2009

Henry's Memorial

The night before Henry's memorial service, I printed and put together photo boards to share at the service to give people a glimpse into his little life. I thought I'd make a Smilebox to share them here, too, for those who were unable to attend due to distance or other commitments. There are 142 photos in the slide show, so it will probably take you some time to go through if you're interested. I tried to get it in chronological order, but I think a few are out of order still. Also, note that these are only pics we've taken since we got a digital camera (plus a few early ones that had been scanned). There were additional pictures at the service that had been taken with film that I don't have here:

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Henry Morgan
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We chose three songs for the funeral. The congregation sang Children Of The Heavenly Father, and then we played two contemporary songs. The first was Brad Paisley's When I Get Where I'm Going. I chose that song specifically for the opening lyrics. The part about how he lands next to a lion and runs his fingers through its mane. I could just visualize Henry doing that - he loved animals sooooo much! The second song was Chris Cornell's I Promise It's Not Goodbye. I just loved that song the first time I heard it. It was as if it was written just for us. Be sure to click over and listen if you're not familiar. I find myself humming the first verse often when I'm feeling down, and imagine Henry singing it to me.

In addition to the songs, we shared this poem:

They say memories are golden well maybe that is true.
We never wanted memories, We only wanted you.
A million times we needed you, a million times we cried.
If love alone could have saved you you never would have died.
In life we loved you dearly, In death we love you still.
In our hearts you hold a place no one could ever fill.
If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane,
We'd walk the path to heaven and bring you back again.
Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.
Author unknown

Hubby and I also each wrote a letter to Henry that the minister read during the service. I'll close with my letter below:

My dear, sweet, Henry… my little Bug…

There are so many questions I have and so few answers. So many dreams I had for you and for all of us that will never come true. So many games we haven’t played so many zoos we’ve yet to visit. I had grand plans to take you to every zoo in the country, one by one until you tired of them. We’d walk hand in hand as we always did, and you’d giggle and say, “Run, Mama! Run with me!” while tugging at my arm. At first I’d resist, but then give in as I did every single time. Your smile was incredible, and I spent the last three years doing whatever I could to bring it out. I will never forget your laughter or your smile, or your kind soul that was so mature for a child your age. I promise you I will never forget how to be silly, and will one day run and roll and tickle and play with you in Heaven just as we did every day here on earth.

Two years ago, I was pregnant with your brother Jack, and as much as I was looking forward to another wonderful little boy to love, I was terrified that something would go wrong during his delivery, and I would pass on, leaving you far too soon. Never could I ever imagine that you would be the one leaving me. Two days before I gave birth to your brother, I wrote you a letter. Something I wanted you to have in case I didn’t make it through that c-section surgery. In that letter, I wrote, “From day one, you have meant the world to me. I’ve often told your Papa that you are my heart and it is the truth. All of the love I have is wrapped up in you. In your smile, your laughter, even in your cranky side! I am constantly amazed with you, and you have made every day of your life a joy for me, and I could never want for more. Thank you for blessing me with your presence, and as I’ve told you since the day you were born – ‘no matter what happens know that Mama loves you and she’s never very far away’.

I whispered those words – Remember, Mama loves you and she’s never very far away – in your ear when I had to lay you on the light table for your jaundice the day after you were born. I repeated the same thing time and again these past three years whenever I had to be away from you for more than a few hours. Whether you were spending the night at grandma’s house, or going on an adventure with Papa. Last weekend as I held your hand in the hospital and the Flight for Life crew prepped you for your first helicopter ride, I kissed you gently and whispered those words again. Mama’s never very far away. And then I got in my van and raced Papa and myself down to Milwaukee to be at your side.

Even though you are looking down on us from heaven now, I want you to know that I am still right here, not very far away. If you need me, you know where to find me, and you can snuggle up at my side whenever you need to… just like always. I love you every bit as much today as I did the day you were born – even more, if that’s possible. I spent nine and a half months carrying you in my tummy, and will spend the rest of eternity carrying you in my heart and in my memory.
I miss you like crazy, I love you to pieces, and I promise you I will see you again, and we’ll tell your favorite stories, over and over and never be parted again.

All of my love, kisses, and tickles, sweet boy.

As you danced in the light with joy, love lifted you.
As you brushed against this world so gently, you lifted us.
T.C. Ring



i {heart} papers said...

Oh Sarah. I'm balling my eyes right now. Thank you so much for sharing this. You continue to be in my thoughts every day. {hugs}

Meredith said...

what a beautiful letter to a beautiful sweet little boy!!!! He is with you always if not in body in spirit. Henry is a piece of you that you will always have, a little angel that watches over you and loves you dearly. I know that one day you will all be reunited together but until then he will live in your hearts. I am so sorry that I couldn't be there at the service, it sounds like it was such a wonderful tribute to our little Hankalicious. You, Darrin, Jack and your entire family continue to be in my prayers. Love you!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this!

Lorie said...

Sarah, my heart just aches for you. Thank you for sharing the music and words from the service. I'm sending you much love and strength.

Leah said...

Sarah, my heart just breaks for you and your family. You have been in my prayers and will continue to be. Praying that you will feel God's arms wrapped tightly around you and know that even in the valley of the shadow of death He is there with you and has your best in mind. Much love, In Him...Leah

Teresa Kline aka va.sunshine said...


The sevice sounds perfect, great songs, wonderful words, and the photos are adorable. You hun are in my prayers....much love, peace, joy, comfort, and blesings to you and your family.


Dani said...

Thank you for sharing this. Sounds like a wonderful service for a beautiful boy. Praying for you all. Hugs my friend!

MacKenzie said...

Beautiful, just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

Kirstin said...

That's beautiful, Sarah, thank you so much for sharing it with all of us. You're an incredibly strong woman, I am in awe!

Katie Cotton said...

Thank you for sharing this emotional part of your life right now. I continue to pray for you and your family every day.

Oksana said...

This is incredible, touching, honest, and candid. I know you love your boy and I'm so sorry there is not much I can do to take that pain away. The service sounds beautiful; thank you very much for sharing something so personal.

Kelly said...

beautiful. the poem, the words, the pictures...beautiful.
thanks for sharing! I loved those pictures on the smilebox. I especially like the one where he is laughing as he runs from feeding the goats.

Gina said...

Sarah, I just wanted to let you know that I think of you and your family every day. You are in our daily thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing this with us, I loved seeing all the pictures of your beautiful , happy little boy. Hugs to you and your family.

Shana said...

Sarah as a mom, I know there are no words I can offer. Yet still I want to tell you how touched I am by your story and how I pray that Henry will always touch your life and remain in your heart. The pain will not be erased with time but it will become more bareable. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

val the crafty gal said...

I am praying for you! And everytime you come to mind -I will pray for you, and Jack, and your husband. I am so sorry. the are no words.

Tracey Cuccia said...

Sarah - no words can begin to express my sorrow. I hold your family in my thoughts daily. As a mom, I can't even begin to bear the thought. Thinking of you...Tracey

Kathy said...

I can't even begin to express how saddened I was to hear this news!! You and your family have and will remain in my prayers!! Thanks so much for sharing some of your precious memories with us!! May God continue to guide you through these tough times!!

Carol said...

Sara, I don't have a lot of words for you, but I know your hurt. I will be keeping you and your husband and Jack in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing this very emotionial part of your life with us, it reminds me how very precious and short our time is and to charish every single moment of it. It is hard to type through the ears, but know that you are being thought of and prayed for today.

Kerry D-C said...

I am on the PCS digi dt, and was so saddened to hear of your loss of Henry. My heart has been wrenched by this news. I checked out your stamp blog several times and just now noticed the link to this blog. After having just read your last couple of posts, I think that you must be an amazing person to even gather yourself together enough to write such a moving letter to your sweet boy. And to share these special thoughts with your readers.
It is not very often that I find myself at a loss for words. But any words I can offer only seem insufficient. And yet, I still sit here waiting for something to come. Please just know that I, along with so many others, are keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Tink said...

Sara, What a Beautiful Letter,
Thanks for sharing the pictures, What a sweet boy.
There are no words I can say to ease your pain.
You are in my thoughts and Prayers.

Kelly Braund said...

That letter is beautiful. I can't image what you're going through, but I will keep you in my thoughts as you continue to remember him with a smile.

Melissa Craig said...

Sarah - it amazes me how this small child touched so many people. Five minutes before I learned of Henry's death I didn't know you and I didn't know that beautiful boy that was the center of your joy was here on this earth. But five minutes after I heard about this death I cried and cried for you. I cannot imagine how you feel. But do know this, I still don't know you and I am happy to know that someday I'll have to opportunity to meet your beautiful boy in heaven... my heart goes out to you and your family. I've prayed for you from that moment on. Your letter is beautiful - I couldn't read it all. My heart will continue to go out to you during this time of grief and as you heal. Many prayers and blessings - Melissa

Karen said...

Oh Sarah - my heart aches for you. Your letter to Henry was so touching and has me in tears. I've never met Henry, but through your letter am able to know what a sweet child he was to those who knew him. May God grant your family peace and comfort. May God keep Henry safe in his arms until you meet again. God Bless!

Mariska said...

Sweet Sarah. Tears are running down my face as I write this. Thank you for sharing your precious pictures of your precious little Henry. The poem you shared is just gorgeous and your letter to Henry is so full of love. I am so so very sorry for your loss sweetie. Not that it makes your loss any less but looking at the pictures it was all to obvious that this boy has had a wonderful life with you and I am absolutely certain he has known he is so loved every day of his life. Take care sweetie!


Steph Zerbe said...

My heart aches for you, your husband and Jack. A mother never imagines out living their children. Your family is in our prayers. You are so brave for sharing your story. I hope we provide a bit of comfort. ((Cyber hugs)) Please keep us posted.

Connie said...

I can not imagine the sorrow and grief that you have had to deal with, in losing a precious child at such a young age. Your letter to Henry is so beautifully written, I don't know where you found the words, at such a difficult time. I too, have tears streaming down my face. I hope your faith has helped you and your husband deal with this tragedy. Someday, you will find out why God needed him home so soon. My prayers go out to you and your family, as we approach the holiday season. {{Hugs}}

Gloria Westerman said...

My heart and eyes are full of tears for you and your family. I too have felt this pain. All I know is your pain will leave, but your memories will last forever. He has Jesus arms around him now. I pray God will wrap his arms around you and your husband and give you peace and comfort and you can feel little Henry love again and know he is well.

Noelle Bolstad said...

Just thinking about you guys with lots of love. Consider yourselves hugged!

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