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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)

TITLE: The Eulogy
By Coleene VanTilburg


It is surreal. This cannot be happening, but it is. It is one o’clock in the morning and my son’s memorial service is tomorrow at five o’clock p.m. I am facing my computer screen, ready to put down words only God, my son and I know. These precious words, this “Gift” needs to be shared. I have not even told my husband. I am the only one to do this. I must eulogize my son.

How am I ever going to stand in front of all those people and be so vulnerable, so broken hearted, yet convey this all so important message of Hope and Eternal Life while I speak about my first born, who has now passed into Eternity?

I am one-step away from rolling up like a pill bug and crawling into a dark corner, wanting to rot away like a fallen leaf. God has brought me here now and I am sensing His presence and strength as I call on his name to surround me with the Holy Spirit and Timmy’s Spirit. I open up my word document and begin to unravel the tightness in my chest and give testimony to a special child and a loving God.

I begin to punch the keys and the words are too numerous to describe my son. I tell about his precocious nature, his energy, his “gift of gab”. I recall a funny anecdote and talk about his school days and love of sports. I explain his diagnosis at age four, his relapses, medicines, doctors and surgeries. I include his struggle that he did not so much convey to many outsiders who knew him as this somewhat annoying, yet funny and charming Tim, who could play eighteen holes of golf with the best of them.

Now it comes, the not so fun side of this life, my son’s life. I must be honest. “God, please help me with these words.”

I tell of Tim’s pain and frustration, his wavering faith and impulsiveness, his cries out to God in anger and his desperate search for healing. I divulge about a not so perfect son and a not so perfect mom.

“You need to know, there is Good News, and Timmy is OK! Listen to the gift God gave me! While he was in his hospital bed in intensive care, he was hallucinating a little bit from the pain medicines and I asked him something, and Tim began to tell me something of great importance to him.”

“Mom, the pencil sharpener is singing to me. Mom, can you hear it?”

“It is? I laughed. What is it singing Tim?” You proceeded to sing to me; eyes shut but with a smile as wide and as bright as I had seen in days.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I am found; was blind but now I see.”

Yes Tim, Amazing Grace! Four days later, you passed into Heaven’s gates and that sweet old hymn will abide with me forever as God’s assurance to me that your healing came through God’s sovereignty in Glory.

I have to share this special moment with the grieving faces that will come to my son’s Celebration of Life service to remember our son and share in our pain. Tim had a difficult life but he enjoyed it to the fullest whenever he could. In the end, he trusted God and he knew he would be OK when he let go.

“Through Tim’s short but exuberant life, his bold spirit lives on and the not so perfect kid with the not so perfect mom stands here today to tell you there is hope in an Oh So Perfect God! Thank you God, for the privilege of being Timothy’s mom.”

I hit the save button on my computer, then print. Tomorrow I will eulogize my son and share this Amazing Grace. I will be bold and strong for I must continue this love between a mother and her son and a God and Believers, between the Savior and the lost.

Matthew 10:19...”do not become anxious about how or what you will speak; for it shall be given to you in that hour what you are to speak.

Matthew 10:27 “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jennifer Johnson09/06/07
Gut-wrenching situation. There is at least a peace at death when one is a Christian. You could leave out the sentence in the beginning about not telling the husband. It makes it confusing. Why haven't you told him? Is he an estranged husband? You haven't told him of your son's death or that you will eulogize him?

Watch too many metaphors in one sentence also: "I am one-step away from rolling up like a pill bug and crawling into a dark corner, wanting to rot away like a fallen leaf." Stick with the bug or the leaf, not both.

No one should ever have to bury a child. I am amazed at the courage and resolve of this character.
Kristen Hester09/08/07
This is a very bold and powerful piece. Thank you for sharing a heartbreaking time and showing the hope in Jesus.

I would suggest that the part which is the eulogy the MC is writing be in italics. It was a hard ot know when the MC was thinking, when it was her written words, etc. If you don't know how to insert italics, check the message boards for instructions. This would have helped make your wonderful, powerful message more clear.
Beth LaBuff 09/13/07
What a incredibly hard piece to write...a eulogy for your son. This is heartbreaking yet uplifting at the same time. Your writing is very good. If this is true, thank you for sharing this story.