This entry is a continuation from His Own Funeral Parts 1 & 2. Please start here.
So I’m attending this funeral, though I wasn’t quite there if you know what I mean. My mind was another place as Larry flashed images at me. He was very insistent on this brown shirt/palm tree/smoke thing while standing there enjoying his eulogies I kid you not.
I couldn’t wait for the funeral to be over. Not because it was sad. I just wanted to tell Diana everything her dead husband was showing me! When the service finally ended, I waited patiently as she thanked the long line of well wishers. The chapel was pretty much empty by the time my turn came and I was glad because I didn’t want an audience for what I had to say.
I hugged her and asked if she was okay.
“No, but I’m going to be.”
Her eyes were all watery.
“Well first off, he told me to tell you he’s with Jesus.”
Fresh tears poured down.
“I know it sounds crazy,” I held her hand, “And I hope you know I didn’t ask for this to happen.”
The LAST thing I wanted was for her to think I was using her husband’s funeral as an opportunity to showcase my talents… but she surprised me.
“No Jenn I believe you,” she nodded and sniffed, “Brandon saw him too.”
Umm… wha? Brandon is Diana’s youngest grandson. He has a mild form of cerebral palsy and apparently started giggling while his big brother read Scripture to the crowd.
“He was laughing and pointing above our heads while Christopher read,” she explained, “So I asked him what was so funny.”
“Grandpa’s making faces,” he giggled.
“Grandpa WHO?” she pulled his arms down. She thought he was talking about HER father sitting in the pew behind them. But Brandon pointed above them.
“Grandpa Larry,” Brandon smiled.
“Well there’s something else,” I said, relieved, “And I don’t know what this means. But he kept showing me a brown shirt, some palm trees, and billowing smoke. Like cigarette smoke or something. He REALLY wanted me to bring these up to you.”
I was waiting for an a-ha! moment. But she stared at me blankly. She didn’t know what the heck I was talking about.
“He showed it to me over and over again Diana. The pictures were very clear,” I was a little disheartened, “You don’t know what that means?”
She had no clue.
The ‘dead’ show me what they want. If the living don’t get it there’s not a whole heck of lot I can do about it except try to explain it another way but there’s danger there. If I don’t deliver the message as is there’s a risk of me contaminating it with my own interpretation then it ceases to be the original message.
…so she didn’t get the palm tree reference but at least she knew he was there. Thank God little Brandon was there to back me up! And now we had church kitchen full of casserole, brisket, salad, rolls, cake, pie, cornbread and sweet tea to look forward to.
I plopped potato salad on my plate and fought off the dizziness. “Psychic comedowns” as I call them are never pleasant. It literally feels like the juices inside my cranium are sloshing around. I think the scientific explanation is that I’m using a part of my brain that doesn’t normally get exercise. So like any muscle I overextend, there’s going to be soreness. My head throbbed like you-know-what as I helped myself to cornbread then sat down with Diana. I kept rubbing my head where it hurt and Diana said that Larry used to complain of headaches in that same spot.
We ate and chatted then I went up for seconds. (I love cornbread). Toward the end of our meal Diana gasped.
She dropped her fork.
“Oh Jenn. Oh Jenn.”
She looked at me wide-eyed and I grabbed her hand.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Oh my God.”
She started crying again.
‘I remember now,” she wiped fresh tears, “I remember.”
And she told me their story
Larry and Diana relaxed on a quiet Mexican beach a few years back. Larry bought himself a new brown shirt for the occasion and they lounged beneath the palm trees… drinking, laughing, smooching. Larry smoked a Cuban cigar and blew rings into the sunshine. “He thought blowing smoke rings was the coolest thing ever,” she rolled her eyes and laughed. It was a beautiful afternoon and they had an amazing time. Before they got back on their boat, Larry told her it was the happiest day of their marriage.
And he was asking her to remember it now.
She’d completely forgotten about that day and I, of course, knew nothing about it. But Larry hadn’t forgotten.
And that’s all he wanted her to remember.
The good times.