Yesterday was long, but it was good. The viewing started at 9:30. I was able to get over there with all of the kids a little after 10:00. There were a lot of people there waiting in line. It was wonderful to see so many people that I love, and to reconnect with family. A lot of people from Lynn's family came to pay their respects as well. And it was such a testament to Linda that 8 of her siblings made it to the funeral. There is a lot of love in that family.
And I am always surprised to find out when someone reads my blog. Apparently one of Rinar's cousins does. I don't think I had ever met her , but it was funny because she knew all of my kids well and wanted to meet them.
The viewing went a little over the schedule because there were a lot of people and they all wanted to wish us well. Rinar stood in the line with the rest of his siblings and Linda. There were a lot of tears, smiles, laughs, hugs.
Then the doors were closed and it was just family members. Lynn's brother Einar gave a prayer and then everyone was given one more chance to look at Lynn's body. He looked serene laying there and I felt that he is much happier now where he is in the spirit world than when he was here on this earth, especially these last few years. Death was a blessing for him, as his body was old and very tired and a burden to carry around. I felt the spirit confirm this to me, by the quiet whispering of the Holy Ghost. Lynn is already very busy up there doing the Lord's work.
We are all sad that he is gone because we are going to miss him so much. But death is not a reason to be sad. Lynn lived a gallant and righteous life. He was ready to meet his maker. Now he is where he needs to be.
The funeral service was lovely. I led the opening hymn, "Lord, I Would Follow Thee". Then Noelle started to cry. She really was not sad about grandpa. She was just telling everybody that she was hungry! Linda talked first and I had to sit in the lobby to listen so that I could feed my baby. Linda explained how they met. It is a cute story. Then she played a piano duet with Rinar. When that was done, Rinar gave the eulogy. I came back inside for that, but didn't stay long. All of the little kids were already pretty restless. Harry was especially restless and asked me about every 15 seconds when it was time to go home. "Mom, I want to go home", "Mom, when can we go home?" Brooke and I were not as prepared as we probably should have been to keep 7 little kids occupied for a long service.
I was in and out of the chapel trying my best to keep him and Noelle quiet. It was stressful. But Rinar's eulogy was lovely and then Raef and Zach played a violin/viola duet with Norma accompanying on the piano. They played Lynn's favorite song, "Consider the Lilies". I was very proud of them. It was beautiful and heartfelt. They even had it memorized. That was probably because I can be a bit of a slave driver.
Aislinn read a beautiful poem that she wrote, and Lani and Nordel spoke for a few minutes. Linda sang an original song with her sisters. Then Lyf gave a wonderful talk that I don't think I will ever forget. He is a master storyteller. I was inspired. He finished up by singing a song that he had written for his dad. And he sang the whole thing without crying. That was amazing!
I was really impressed with how much people loved Lynn. Don't get me wrong, I love him and I am so thankful that I knew him. He has been a fixture in my life. But I realized even more how much of an impact he had on his family. And the most important thing is that all five of his children revere him and love him deeply. I think that really says a lot about him. I hope that I can be like him in the sense that my kids know that I always love them and even if they are struggling I will be their biggest cheerleader and love them no matter what. Lynn exemplified this.
There was a luncheon for the family immediately following the service. And of course, there were funeral potatoes, a Mormon staple!
Rinar was able to spend a little bit of time with his two best childhood friends: Damon and Tyler. A funeral service is a blessing in this way. We can reconnect with the people we love.
After lunch, we headed to the grave site in Hurricane. Linda's brother Richard dedicated the grave and we said our goodbyes. Linda's siblings sang "Aloha Oe'" spontaneously, both at the funeral service and at the grave site. It was very moving.