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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)

TITLE: A Funeral
By Karen Deikun


She loved flowers, but not these. Not these symbols of the last door closing, the last hope truly and forever gone. The grief was like a living being holding her hostage. She could not speak, and movement seemed impossible, tied down as she was by this monster of pain that weighed upon her arms, her hands, even her fingers. She fought the heaviness enough to run her fingertips across Timothy’s dear face one last time. How she loved him! Now there would be nothing left of him to love. There would only be the memories that would remain forever as unfulfilled promises. If only he hadn’t been so set and stubborn.

He’d rejected every chance with his smug superiority. “It’s fine for you, Mom. I just can’t believe it all.” But he’d fed his unbelief with the words of others. Her prayers had gone unanswered, not because of God's refusal, but because of Tim's. God had placed opportunity before him time and again; and the still, small voice had spoken. But Tim’s heart was hard and unyielding. Her golden baby, her sweet son had somehow grown to manhood and shut out The One she loved most in all the earth and heaven. Her life had been defined by the struggle between her love for Tim and her love for God. Her days and nights had been filled with pleadings and prayers, and finally by surrrender.

Some earthly death was made bearable by hope, but this final death was the worst agony she had ever known. She wondered if God felt this horrible pain each time one of his children turned away, refusing His love. She wondered how it was possible to exist with so much pain.

The touches and murmurs of friends expressing comfort surrounded her as the cloying fragrance of the flowers overwhelmed her. She felt faint and sick, but it was time to stand. Time to follow the coffin down the aisle and out the door. Time to watch the dirt fall with hideous finality on the life of her son. Her friend grasped her frail arm and helped her rise to her feet. She was carried along past the bouquets and vases, past the tall gladiolas and fragrant roses, past the blur of faces.

“Oh Jesus!” Her heart cried out in pain. “Oh, precious Jesus!” Someone handed her a rose to throw on the coffin. Her hand shook. "Jesus!" she cried again. Her heart opened to His comfort. Her soul clung. She heard the whisper of His voice and knew He understood the pain, felt it with her. Her tears for Timothy mingled with the tears of Christ as she tossed the rose into the gaping hole.

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This article has been read 934 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Watson Owen10/10/05
As the mother of a grown son whom I dearly love, you've left me with a tear after reading this heart rending story. So effectively written!
Karen Treharne10/10/05
Having two sons who were raised with Christian principles who later decided they no longer believed, this story reminded me of the sadness in my heart everyday as I continue to pray for their change of heart. The thought of them NOT going to share heaven with me is almost beyond bearing. A very touching and real story that will undoubtedly touch many lives.
B Brenton10/11/05
What a powerful story. I think letting more description stand out would only move it more to unrecognisable proportions. I think all of us have lost someone who is an unbeliever, but for it to be a son... wow.
Brandi Roberts10/11/05
Wow, a very powerful entry. Beautiful, sad and touching. Thank you for sharing.
Beth Muehlhausen10/11/05
All the mothers who read this will understand.....
Alexandra Wilkin10/12/05
Powerful and emotive, tenderly written. God bless.
Joanne Malley10/13/05
So heartwrenching and emotional...so very sad. Well written. Your intentions were nicely portrayed. :)
Dixie Phillips10/13/05
Oh my does this ever pull at the heartstrings! Wish every prodigal could read this.
terri tiffany10/16/05
Another reminder how important it is for us to witness to those around us. I really enjoyed your wording and phrases.
Marilyn Schnepp 11/25/05
How sad! How gripping. How well written! You made everything so real. You had much applause in the critiques...God BLess.