”The beauty of Elvis’ voice has filled our chapel this morning, the sweetness of his words has filled our hearts, but those of us who have witnessed the love story of Milton and Mona Gay, realize this morning, that even the unparalleled talent of this great vocalist has failed to express its sacred grandeur. ”Wow, what an opening statement at a funeral service.
I met my client nearly four years ago as we buried his brother. My client is a kind and dear man in his seventies. Throughout the years, I have seen him around town, and he has never failed to pull a faded and tattered picture from his wallet of his beautiful wife and tell me how much he loves her .Nearly three months ago, my client and his daughter came to my funeral home to make pre-arrangements for his wife.
Late last week, while directing a service for a different family, I received the dreaded call. The nurse on the other end of the line notified me that my client’s wife had died. I was heartbroken for him for I knew in his heart, his life had ended as Mona Gay drew, and then released her last breath. Unfortunately, I could not go to the nursing home myself, so I sent my dear husband in my stead to respectfully gather Mona Gay’s remains, and bring them back to the funeral home. All through the night, I worried about my client. I knew he was devastated over his loss. Even when one has anticipated the loss of a loved one who has been ill for quite some time, the actual occurrence of death is always dreadful.
Early the following morning, my client came to the funeral home to finalize the details of his beloved’s services. As he sat beside me, he reached into his wallet and pulled out the old, faded and tattered picture of his wife, that I had seen on many previous occasions. True as ever, his bright blue eyes radiated deep love as only true love can do. This day was different though, his eyes were bluer, brighter and more deeply radiating as tears ran down his cheeks, and he spoke of his lost love. When it was time to leave, Milton could barely stand. His legs were weak, and his body seemed frail.
Milton and his daughter came early for their visitation. He was hesitant and did not want to see her in her casket. He was so heartbroken and did not think he could bear the anguish of this new life without her. He told me that he thought he might die too, and that his sorrow was too painful to survive. He apologized for crying, not realizing that his tears, his fears and his agonizing sadness were a great honor to his wife.
At the funeral, Milton’s strength failed him. He fell to his knees as he approached his beloved’s casket for the last moment they would share together. His tears and acclamations of tender love broke my heart, yet renewed my faith that love endures when all else fails.
The beauty of Elvis’s voice filled my chapel that morning, and the sweetness of his words filled my heart, but the love I had witnessed from Milton for his beloved Mona Gay will never be expressed through the earthly talent of a great vocalist. Their tender love was one of sacred grandeur.