Say a formal goodbye with other loved ones

There’s something about a meeting
Of those who cry in offense,
Where the love between them commands,
This is how God facilitates relief.


Well, our little boy’s celebration of life is over. I wonder how I feel. Having had a delicious lunch with all of my children, we all talked about the impact that Nathanael had on our lives. I feel remarkably normal. Not that he can’t crash and burn me soon. That will be fine. It is peace to know that emotions must be honored and not undermined.

The hardest part today, emotionally, was putting Nathanael’s casket in the back seat of the funeral director’s car. Immediately after the car started, I had the surreal and eternally heavy privilege of thanking our closest family and friends with teary eyes and a quivering chin. There is a downside to the strength of the tort; emotional experiences are contained in a form of acceptance and not everyone knows what impacts you so much. The advantage, of course, is that you have the privilege of being fully present. Today I was able to be fully present. It was good enough to do my best. I did the best I could and I’m sticking with it.

Seeing my daughters up there reciting one of my poems was a highlight. Everyone loves Ethan very much; they loved Nathaniel as much as he did. It was a hundred hugs and “we love you” was said in both ways more than I remember. A lot of people said, “I don’t know what to say,” and Sarah and I said, “What you said is perfect” or “There’s nothing wrong with what you said.”

There is no blame to enter. We have honored God to the best of our ability. Like a family behind us, supporting us, the love has been unwavering. They have dealt with my frayed nerves and moodiness when the number and nature of things overwhelmed me. They have done a lot to get involved in our grievance and fit theirs with ours. That’s what families are for: to enjoy together and to die together.

Many highly esteemed colleagues and mentors came. The person we respect the most in the ministry led the service wonderfully and with great respect.

I am grateful for the patience of some who waited to greet us, despite having busy hours on Fridays to attend.


Our son, Nathanael Marcus, was sincerely honored today. He has touched so many. Our grateful thanks to everyone who attended his funeral today and to those who thought to send well wishes.

© 2014 SJ Wickham.

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