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Josiah's Celebration of Life Service

by - January 29, 2011

I promised to write about the way we spent January 24th, the 1yr anniversary of Josiah's passing. It's taken me a little longer than I expected.

We spent the day together just the four of us. We told the girls what day it was and what that meant. Hazyl still refers to it as the day the nurses flew Josiah to heaven in the helicopter. The last time the girls saw Josiah was January 7th when they watched him be loaded into the helicopter and taken back to Charleston from Greenville. So Hazyl's description of how Josiah got to heaven makes sense.

We love to spend time outdoors. I always feel God's presence more out in His creation, hence the reason we went camping on what would have been Josiah's first birthday. So we were hoping to do something outside, like take the girls skiing, but it was a bitter cold day. It was about 4 degrees so that was out of the question. We did manage to go out for a little bit and make snow angles and write Josiah's name in the snow, as I wrote about previously. We took the girls to our favorite restaurant for lunch and then to see "Tangled." We simply had a nice time together cuddling with our girls. We had some friends offer to bring dinner over to us, so we had a very nice dinner with them.

Our big plan for the day was listening to Josiah's memorial service after the girls went to bed. We hadn't done this at all and didn't really remember too much of what was said because that day was such a blur to us. I hadn't listened to his memorial service yet partly because I wasn't ready and partly because I was angry over his service not getting video taped. It was an accident but Josiah's service never got taped and I didn't find that out until 3 months after Josiah had died. I felt like I had so little left of Josiah and couldn't understand why that piece of him had been taken from me too. We do have the audio just no video. Anyway, a year later I have dealt with my anger over this (which was never at any person but over the situation) and was ready to listen to his memorial service. So we invited two couples over to listen to it with us and just share in this sweet but emotional time. The night before I decided it might be awkward for the six of us just to sit and stare at nothing for over an hour. So I thought I would try making a slideshow and put his service as the audio behind the slideshow. I knew this was going to take a lot of pictures so I decided to pretty much put every picture I have of Josiah and our family during those 8 months in the slideshow. I got done moving them all over and it was 924 pictures. So I started doing the math… 924 x lets say 5 sec per pic =4620 secs. 4620 secs divided by 60 sec/min = 77 mins. So I went over to my itunes to see how long Josiah's service was and guess what IT WAS EXACTLY 77 MINS LONG! How perfect is that and my project was done! So Milo and I and our four friends listened and watched a very rough slideshow of our 8 month journey with Josiah. It was an awesome way to remember the life of our son. And we actually made something very good out of what was a huge disappointment. I think it was much more meaningful to watch all the pictures of our family during that time rather than just watching the people who spoke at Josiah's service. God usually does have a better plan, it just might take us a while to realize it!

So we thought we'd share the video with you (not that I expect anyone to listen to it in it's entirety, but maybe a little each day for the next few days or weeks!). We have since, done a little editing to it to make it a little better (so it's not 77 minutes anymore, now it's only 73 minutes).

We also did one last thing for the day that we plan to make a tradition out of. All four of us slept in the same bed together! We never ever do that, but that's what I wanted, to cuddle with my husband and my girls and cherish each moment with them.

A heart that holds on

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  1. Thanks for sharing the audio and pictures - I think it's great tradition to have the family so close on the 24th. Love you all!