Mar 27

The Details Side of Death

This whole death process has taught me a lot.  This is the first death in my life where I planned or needed to carry out some of the details associated with it. I’ve been told that I’m calm and level-headed. I’m not so sure about that, but the Lord has given me the ability to feel pain and sadness but also do what needs to be done.  It’s surprised even me because I am not detail oriented in my every day life.  Even though during the last week of Mom’s life and the day of her death, I wanted to fall apart and not think about all the many details to follow, my body and mind kicked into a different gear and allowed me to separate from my emotions and get things done.

Meeting with the funeral director was one of the hardest.  My husband, Jeff, went with me and we sat in a conference room that contained flowers and caskets.  This was just hours after Mom died.  Even though Mom made sure her funeral was paid for and she let us know that she wanted a traditional southern viewing and service, the details still needed to be made.  Selecting the spray of flowers.  Selecting pictures for the DVD that is being made.  Going into the room where her viewing will take place and deciding where the family would stand to greet friends as they passed through to share their well wishes and take one final look at Mom.  Going into the chapel where her service will be held.  Bringing her clothes that she will be wearing in her casket.  Her jewelry.  Telling those in charge how she liked her make up and hair.  It was sort of an out of body experience.  It had to be in order to get through it because the moment I thought about all of this being for MY MOTHER, I would tear up and cry.  It just can’t be happening. But I know it is. :(

Yesterday, I spoke with the minister to go over the order of the service. Reverend Mike Black, a Baptist minister and my Mom’s next door neighbor and friend is officiating.  He is wonderful and has been instrumental in assuring my Mom and her husband that God was with them all the time.  My mother’s faith grew by leaps and bounds because of this man.  He is a wonderful man and Mom was so happy that he would be doing her service.  My son, Blake, my niece, Becca, and I will also be speaking at Mom’s service.  Mom’s 2 favorite hymns, Amazing Grace and What A Friend We Have in Jesus will also be sung.  It will be a celebration of her life and I’m sure I’ll be writing more about it in the coming week.

Today I have one more detail to take care of and I think it will be one of the toughest.  I will be going to the funeral home to give approval on how my mom looks.  Jeff is going with me.  My sister hasn’t decided if she can and I completely understand that.  I have to look at these final tasks as ways that I am still serving Mom and also serving our family and God.  In that sense it is an honor.  But it’s still hard.

The night before Mom went to be with Jesus, I wrote her obituary.  I’ll post that tomorrow.

So many have asked what they can do for me?  Well I’ll tell you.  Go hug the special ones in your life right now.  Tell them you love them.  If they aren’t in your home, call them.  Then do it again tomorrow. More than anything I miss the sound of my mother’s voice telling me she loves me.



  1. Melissa,
    Reading this and knowing what you are going through is such a comfort. I have been trying to put into perpective how I was feeling the day my mom passed away and how I got through the “details” and the funeral. I knew it was the Lord’s strength and His Peace that held me up. His peace I claim for you too, you are doing all this in His strength,Thank you for being real and writing about your experience in this most diffucult time.

  2. Pamela Frenden says:


    I prayed for you last night & will continue. May God continue to give you peace and give affirmation to you this weekend, as overwhelming as it will be, of how much your mom was loved and cared about and the impact she has left on people’s lives. It’s obvious that it’s one of greatness in your own.
    You are loved ♥

  3. Lucy Munoz says:

    My Sweet Melissa my heart goes out to you, reading your post made vivid and brought back the days we had to get through the details of my dads funeral. It is tough but the Lord grants the strength we need.

    Keeping you in my prayers

  4. You and your family continue to be in my prayers. This is such a tough time in your life and thankfully you have the strength and guidance of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love and support of family and friends. Your mama is so proud of you right now. Everything that you are doing :o) I am sure that the viewing and the funeral service will be beautiful. I’ll be thinking about you and praying for you along the way. One of our family’s favorite hymns to sing at a loved ones funeral is When We All Get To Heaven. ~ Ah… that will be a wonderful time for us all. God bless you and your family Melissa. ~ Love, Leanna

  5. Oh Melissa…strength for each day…each moment..that’s what God is giving you. I think we often wonder and doubt, watching others go through times like this, how we would find the strength to travel similar roads. God gives the grace and strength in the moment…not before. He’s always there when we need Him providing in ways we have never imagined or experienced before. He is faithful. He will continue to provide all you need. You can trust in Him.

    How my heart aches for all you are going through…so hard all that is asked and required when you are already carrying so much…yet you are ministering to your mom still…beautiful acts of kindness and love…continuing to show how much you love her and care for her.

    Praying the Lord will gently care for you my friend. In the weary moments when weakness overcomes, may you feel His hand in yours as He lifts you up and carries you and holds you close.

    Love ya sweet friend. Sending more hugs and prayers,

  6. Dear Melissa~I have tears as I write. My son lost one of his very best friends to a brain tumor last Thanksgiving day. Three weeks later my dear little friend, Asya, six years old, went to be with Jesus. I helped Asya’s single momma with all the details of her funeral. Asya would have been seven years old last Monday. My sweet friend, Carla (Asya’s momma) is in such pain this week.

    Asya got sick on a Sunday and died on a Wednesday morning (Dec. 16th). She had a virus that affected the heart and took her so quickly. We are still reeling. The shock is wearing off and the reality of it all is very painful.

    Death has no sting for the taken but for those left behind … well … who can even describe it.

    The well meaning say, “She is with the Lord, all is well.”

    They are not intimate with the loneliness of being left here.

    I empathize, dear friend, I am feeling what you are going through.

    Much love to you and yours,

  7. I am so sorry to hear your mama is gone But, knowing she knew Jesus makes it so much easier….My parents do not and I pray for them all the time…they are getting old and I fear for their souls….I asked the Lord to engulf you and your family with so much peace you will not be able to explain it to others. Gods Bless you all!!!

  8. Continuing to pray for you and your family. Hoping that today you can smile at the memories and enjoy the friends and family as you say good-bye for now.
    God bless.

  9. Melissa,
    Just as I have prayed for your mom and your family during the last couple of years I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers through the coming weeks. I do pray a sense of peace with you as you go through details in coming days.
    Margaret S.