IN LOVING MEMORY MICHAEL JOSEPH ARNOT FEBRUARY 26, 2018. 11:30 PM Michael Joseph Arnot peacefully passed in the warm embrace of his mother's womb and was born Monday, February 26, 2018, at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, HI, to his loving parents, Brady and Holly Arnot. Michael is survived by his daddy and mommy, and brother Austin, and sister Keva of Ewa Beach HI. Paternal grandparents Deryck and Coree Arnot of Provo, UT, maternal grandparent G. Michael and Tracy Lee of Queen City, TX; uncles Shayne and Tracy Arnot of Provo, UT, and Taylen Arnot of Provo, UT; aunts Kaici and Branndi Arnot of Provo, Ut, and Elizabeth Barning and husband Nick of DesMoines, IA, and Heather Lee serving a mission in Salt Lake City, UT; and cousins Daniel and Abby Appodaca of DesMoines, IA, and MoMo, Brookie, and Madison Barning of DesMoines, IA. Although we mourn our loss, we believe that families are forever and that we will be together on the other side of the veil. His earthly purpose fulfilled - his mission was greater in heaven so we will be patient. We are honored to be his family and endeavor to live valiant lives so that we may reunite as an eternal family in Christ's loving grace. We love, adore, and miss you, dear son. Funeral services for Michael Jospeh Arnot will be under the direction of his grandparents, Michael and Tracy Lee of Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City, TX, Sunday, March 11, 2018, beginning at 2:30 PM. Interment will immediately follow. A memorial plaza recognizing the value of lost children will be established on the Queen City Funeral Home campus in Michael's honor. The purpose of the memorial will be for healing, reflection, and comfort for all those who mourn their lost children. MIKEY JOE 1, 30 DAYS MARCH 26, 2018 Last night I was talking to my daughter on the phone. She and her sweet little family had just returned to Hawaii, their home, after being on the mainland for twenty days. Today, my son-in-law returns to work. Today marks the one-month anniversary that they posted their reveal for their soon to arrive bundle of joy, on social media. That was an exciting morning. My husband popped his head into my office and announced that our daughter had finally posted her reveal. I couldn't wait to see it. I jumped online immediately to watch it. I laughed and cried as I watched my daughter, her husband, and my sweet grandchildren, reveal to everyone they love, that they would soon have a new addition gracing their family. My son-in-law does not like to announce pregnancies early as he and his first wife lost a child during gestation. To respect his wishes, my husband and I must hold our excitement and happiness from our family and friends until our daughter's baby bump becomes undeniable. At that time, our son-in-law relinquishes his secret and we are all free to celebrate. Salutations were coming from far and wide. Friends and family were texting, posting, and phoning with congratulations, and the day was exhilarating. As my husband and I met for lunch, my phone rang once more. I looked at the caller id. Before I answered the phone and before she said a word; I knew. Her voice was strained, she tried not to sound worried, she asked me not to worry - but I knew - my daughter was miscarrying my grandchild. My son-in-law rushed her to the hospital and by dinner, she was induced. Our grandson was delivered in Hawaii the day his mother posted his reveal on social media - lifeless - to brokenhearted parents and brokenhearted grandparents. By nightfall, the congratulations were no longer coming. In their stead, tears filled our hearts, and condolences and flowers filled our home. My daughter, ever so practical, immediately began planning for the burial of her sweet son. Her husband, a service member, needed bereavement leave. That meant the Red Cross would be involved. Her son would have to be flown to the mainland, as would she and her family. Of course, expenses were a concern as they live on a military family's income. Five days later, my husband and I picked up our daughter and her family at the Dallas airport and brought them home. Two days later, we returned to Dallas for our deceased grandson. Four days later, we buried him. Last night as we were talking, my daughter told me that she had received a condolence from a dearly loved friend who suffered a significant loss some years back. She spoke of the comfort and relief she experienced upon reading his kind and thoughtful message. Her husband finds it difficult that some of their friends avoid them. She told him that their friends avoid them not because they don't care, but because they don't know what to say that might help. Through the pain of losing her child, my daughter has realized that the shroud of grief ebbs outward toward those who love and care for her, drawing on their fears and suffocating them into silence. Although her battle continues, she has fought her foe and reaches out to extend a hand of comfort and love to those whose hearts suffer over her anguish. She has become a survivor. She has her moments, sleep continues to evade her, and tears spill at inopportune moments. I expect her sorrow will accompany her for the rest of her life. She is tough though. She understands that attitude determines outcome. She recognizes that although tragedy has visited her home, happiness and love reside there harmoniously. Today, one month after losing his son, my son-in-law returns to work. There are no words gentle enough to soften this painful day for him. He carries a burden deeper than the sea that surrounds all of the South Pacific. Through all of this, I have learned marvelous things about my daughter and son-in-law. I have learned that they love their Savior and follow his example. That through the adversity of a parent's greatest pain, that of losing a child, they understand that others grieve for them. They are amazingly strong people. I am so proud of them and I know that as they travel through life, they will make it their mission to help other young parents who suffer this heartbreaking tragedy. My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), the Managing Funeral Director (FDIC,) and owner of Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City, Texas. I am an author and syndicated columnist. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and grief briefs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB's Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate survivors toward positive recovery. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on. For additional encouragement, read other articles or watch video "Grief Briefs," please go to my website at www.MourningCoffee.com. MIKEY JOE 2 - ACKNOWLEDGMENT CARDS APRIL 2, 2018 As a funeral director, I am often asked about acknowledgment cards. One of my funeral arts classes, while attending college, focused on the traditions and etiquette surrounding funerals, so acknowledgment cards are an easy subject to explain. Acknowledgment cards are merely thank you cards addressing services performed by those who participated in any way at a funeral or assisted in relieving the mourner's burdens. They should be written on card stock, rather than plain paper, and sent out in a timely fashion. Funeral homes offer funeral specific cards for your convenience. Personally, I have always thought the cards offered by the funeral industry were a little lacking. Therefore, when asked about acknowledgment cards, I always offer an alternative; blank cards from the dollar store. This past week I had the daunting task of writing and sending acknowledgment cards to those who assisted with my grandson's funeral. My daughter and her family have suffered emotionally over his loss and as they have experienced exhaustive travel, I volunteered to take on the task. I am a stationery collector. I have drawers and shelves full of beautiful stationery for every occasion. I love the different designs, weights, sentiments, etc. of each individual set. I do not usually purchase stationery at stationery specific stores. I search out lovely boutiques in towns that focus on appealing to shoppers with unique and discriminating appreciation. As I approached my task of writing my grandson's acknowledgment cards, I chose a box of cards that I have treasured for decades. They were lovely - elegant peacocks in a grand display, poised before pure white Grecian columns, painted in beautiful hues by the impressionist's brush and accented with swirls of gold embossing. I purchased these cards when I was a missionary in the south of France in the early 1980's. I have held on to these cards for a very long time, holding them in reserve for a very special purpose. I never suspected that purpose would be to express my deepest gratitude for services rendered to my family by those who care and love us most. As with most things related to my profession, I felt adequately qualified for the task. I sat down at my desk and began putting pen to card. Suddenly, I realized that the experience would be very different than I had anticipated. Writing an acknowledgment card is nothing like writing a thank you card. A thank you card is usually written about something wonderful; either a gift received, or a kind act performed in your favor. An acknowledgment card is written to thank someone for serving you on the worst day of your life. A day when life is broken, when breathing takes a conscious effort, and when nothing else in the world matters to you. How do you put that; the magnitude of someone's kindness and service to you, on a little three and a half by five card? You cannot. For three days, I would approach my desk, take my pen in hand, and attempt the task. For three days, I was unable to accomplish it. As I would touch the lovely cards, purchased so long ago and treasured for a special purpose, my heart would be so full that I could not wipe the tears away from my eyes swiftly enough to keep them from spilling down my face. The words within my heart inadequately represented my soul's expressions. Finally, on the fourth day, I had an epiphany. Those plain, pre-printed acknowledgment cards offered by the funeral industry, perhaps were not so lacking after all. I rose from my desk and went to my arrangement room. I reached into the secretary drawer and pulled out a box of plain white cards with black script embossing. I realized a new appreciation for their simplicity and fulfillment of purpose. I looked at those cards that I so often told clients were not worth their cost and realized that they were worth more than the elegantly printed stationary that I had treasured for so many decades. The simple sentiment, embossed in bold contrast, eloquently expressed all that I needed to say. "Thank you for your kindness and sympathy. It was received with deepest appreciation." As I signed my and my daughter's names to the cards, I remained unable to reign in my emotions as I recalled with great love and appreciation, each act of kindness received from our friends and family. I will never forget their service and love to us on that sad and dreadful day. Our signatures are barely legible on those cards, but I know that our friends and family realize that I was signing them blindly through tears of sorrow and pain. Preprinted acknowledgment cards may be simple and basic, but they are offered in recognition of the most simple and basic needs known to man, the rendering of love and service. The anguish within my soul would have crushed me that day had it not been for the love and support with which my friends and family attended me - that dreadful day that we buried my beloved grandson, Mikey Joe. For that, I remain eternally in their debt. Mikey Joe 4 - Mother's Day 2018 Dear Daughter, I know that this year has been the hardest year of your life. It has been the hardest one of my life too. As mothers, our greatest joy, pride, worry, and sorrow all stem from the same place, our children. The passing of Mikey Joe is absolutely the most difficult experience either of us has ever had. Losing him was filled with pain and sorrow. I miss him with every breath that I draw. My greatest pain, however, was witnessing my baby's pain and realizing that I was powerless in lifting her burden. Thank you for allowing me to see to Mikey Joe's funeral needs. Being able to serve him helped me express my joy at being his grandmother, and my pain at losing him. It allowed me to give something to him even though I would never hear his sweet voice or watch as he learned amazing things from his adoring brother and sister. I was able to reconcile his loss deep within my heart through service to him, to you, and to Heavenly Father as I arranged for his needs. I know that as the years pass, we will remember Mikey Joe with the same sorrow we now experience, however, we will eventually be better able to control our tears from flowing so freely. There is not a day that passes that his sweet spirit does not reach out and touch my heart. I know it is the same for you too. As I am sure that my time to leave this earth will arrive before your own, and although I know he knows it already, I will embrace Mikey Joe when I see him on the other side of life and tell him how much his mommy loves and misses him; how honored she felt to be chosen to be his mommy; that she is a valiant daughter of God; and that she anticipates meeting him with extreme yearning and a heart filled with love. I love you, dear daughter. I miss you, and I am so sorry you have suffered so deeply. I am proud of your strength, your testimony, your dedication to your family, and your eternal goals. You have always been such a wonderful daughter. You are now a wonderful mother. I am honored to be your momma. Wishing you a mother's life filled with happiness and joy. Love Momma, Mother's Day 2018 Mikey Joe 5 - Angels of Comfort What a blessing it is to be able to read. It was not so long ago that reading was uncommon among the masses. Even today, we see many people who remain illiterate due to dyslexia or some other underlying cause. Reading is better than movies. It is better than plays. Reading is a gift to our souls because it allows us to engage our minds, imagination, reasoning, and intuition. It allows us to accept the words to our brains at the speed at which we can understand and interpret their meaning. Once we understand their meaning, we are at liberty to accept or reject them as truth or error. I am thankful for the blessing of reading in my life. I hope you are too. I read an article this morning. While I found some of the article acceptable, most of it seemed mystically based. It did, however, evoke deep thought, encourage contemplation, critical thinking, and evaluation within my mind and soul. At the end of the article, I had considered new theories, reasoned whether they were soundly based, and either accepted or rejected them. It was an educational morning for me. The interesting part of the article for me was the section entitled "Angels of Comfort." In this section, the author addresses two different types of angels. She writes of angels who take upon themselves a physical form. She states, "A true angel encounter is when angels assume physical bodies. They have a different essence about them. They come out of nowhere, deliver the message or assistance and leave without a trace." (Kermie Wohlenhaus, Ph.D., Angels of Grief, Comfort, and Hope) Ms. Wohlenhaus also writes of angels who remain in a spiritual form and communicate soul to soul. It is this second concept of spirits that had merit to me. She states, "Most times angels do not take physical form for us to see and hear with our physical senses, but their presence will be unmistakable, soft, and kind in an intuitive way. A warmth will pour over us, filling us with ease and peace, from out of nowhere there is deep serenity." (Kermie Wohlenhaus, Ph.D., Angels of Grief, Comfort, and Hope) Six months ago, I lost my grandson. His loss was earth shattering to our family. I experienced consuming anguish and worried deeply about his mother, my daughter. Inwardly, I felt as though my life would end. Breathing became an unnatural chore. I feared that such grief might cause my daughter to give up on living and that the shadow cast upon our hearts would be too great to endure. I sought relief and comfort through prayer, knowing that without it, my workaholic tendencies would consume me, and I would disappear within my choices of chore rather than traversing and growing through my future of pain and anguish. I asked God to surround me with celestial light and the companionship of loving and guiding angels that through them, he would impart His spiritual comfort and wisdom that I might be able to endure the sorrow I was bearing. I prayed that my eyes and soul would be receptive to direction, understanding of His plan, the actions that would bring recovery to my soul; and that my daughter and I would experience and carry with us through the days of our lives, the love we felt for our Mikey Joe and for our Father's Plan of Happiness. As my daughter and her family arrived on the mainland, we waited for the arrival of our precious loved one's tiny body. I felt the blessings of angels around me, comforting me, giving me the strength to carry out my duties as my grandson's grandmother, my daughter's mother, and my family's funeral director. Those days were very ominous and difficult for me. The burden of my grandson's loss was magnified by the terror of my daughter's pain. I did not know how I would get through them, how I would recover from them, and even more daunting, how I would help my daughter survive them. As I lay in bed one evening, praying, and drifting into slumber, I felt the loving powers of God's ministering angels surround me. The celestial comfort and communication expressed beyond doubt that all would be well and that this was His plan from the beginning. The companionship of love was so overwhelming, that I could not relate to the physical world of pain and suffering in which I resided. I wondered, momentarily, if I were still living or had I slipped off into the loving embrace of Jesus Christ, to continue my progression as a spirit until that glorious promise of resurrection. The experience could not have been a long one, as I suddenly realized that I was not breathing, and unwillingly gasped for life-sustaining air. The pain of air entering my lungs regrettably carried with it the sorrows of reality. My life, however, was somehow different for I knew beyond any shadow of doubt, that my daughter and I would survive this excruciating experience of loss; that we would recover from the bowels of grief; and that one glorious day, we would reunite with our beloved baby, Mikey Joe, in the Holy presence of our Lord and Savior, with a sure knowledge of our Father's Holy Plan of Happiness, to continue on, eternally, with joy, peace, and tranquility. That, my dear friends, is the experience of comforting angels. My life has forever changed. I have experienced the death of my beloved grandson, realized the loss of hope and joy, seen my daughter writhe in agony without the power to lighten her burden, and as I lay waiting to die for relief within my own bed, I have been rescued from the pain of hell through the unmistakably soft and kind comfort of visiting angels and mercies of God. I am thankful for their rescue. I am thankful for God's Holy Plan of Happiness. And, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to help others loosen the ropes of hell in their search for grief's recovery. I pray for you and all who mourn, that recovery will be your gift as you walk through the valley of the shadow of death; that you will overcome fear through the spirit of Christ and that His steadfast rod and unyielding staff will guide and comfort you; that His goodness and tender mercies will follow you all the days of your life, and that you will dwell surrounded by His peace and love within His house, forever. (Ref: Psalm 23:4-6) That you, like I, will seek and find recovery through the loving embrace of God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, and through their ministering angels of comfort. My grandson is dead but he is not lost. We will one day meet at the feet of Jesus to reunite as children of God, an eternal family forever more. I look fondly toward that sweet and glorious day. Mikey Joe 6 - Abandonment As I stood in line at the bank, Friday, the bank manager approached me and whispered kind words into my ear. She thanked me for how I close the services for my client families. She had recently attended the funeral of my cousin's husband and wanted to express her appreciation for my closing statements. I appreciate her encouragements. At the close of every funeral, I always come forward and thank family and friends, on behalf of the survivors, for their attendance and support during what is definitely the most difficult ritual accompanying death; the lowering of the loved one into the earth and sealing their grave with soil. At that moment, fear, panic, and pain rush into the hearts of the survivors. I was there six months ago. My son-in-law carried my grandson's tiny white casket out of our chapel and placed him in his grave. My daughter and her surviving two children followed, and we gathered around Mikey Joe's resting place for the dedication and closing of his grave. My husband, son-in-law, and three-year-old grandson began the arduous task of returning the soil of the earth into the oblong grave where my deceased grandson would now rest. I think my heart stopped beating at that moment. I watched in horror as my little grandson grabbed a small fist full of dirt to throw into his tiny brother's grave. I could not see or hear anything else around me. I was completely focused on my two tiny grandsons sharing their last moment on earth; one lying in a small grave and the other filling it with dirt. Suddenly, my three-year-old grandson realized his hands were dirty and briskly wiped them up and down on the chest of his freshly starched shirt. Those in attendance gasped and then broke into laughter. With tears of heartache streaming down my face, I too broke into uncontrollable laughter. He repeated his assigned task of filling his tiny brother's grave until the task was completed, each time wiping his hands on the front breast of his white shirt. The bright red dirt of East Texas, now permanently stains my grandson's beautiful white church shirt. What a wonderful treasure my daughter has of her two tiny sons: a stained dress shirt, evidentiary of their brotherly love and care for each other. As the committal came to a close, I, like always, stepped forward. Choking with sobs of sorrow, I thanked our family and friends for their support, participation, and attendance. Then, one by one, they each left our funeral home. Since that day, no one who attended his funeral has ever mentioned my grandson again. My husband, daughter, and I speak of him continually, but no one in our family, nor do our friends ever speak of him. Initially, my son-in-law found it very painful that no one ever spoke about their loss. Indeed, he found that his friends, co-workers, and acquaintances would, and continue to, avoid him. My daughter told him that their friends do not avoid them because they do not care, but because they do not know what to say. Perhaps that is why no one ever speaks of my grandson. I do not know the reason; I just know that it creates a patch of loneliness and sadness within my heart. The experience of losing my grandson has changed the things I do and say on behalf of survivors at the close of a service. As before, I thank those in attendance for their support, but now I add a little from my own experience. Death separates us from the physical presence of our loved ones. We miss being able to converse with them, hold their hands, and see their lovely faces. It also separates us from the spiritual presence of our loved ones. We miss their love, their support, and their companionship. Unfortunately, death can carry a third separation that is not necessary at all. It imposes discomfort and insecurities upon friends, family, and acquaintances to the point of abandonment. Death is the hardest experience we are called upon to bear. It brings with it so many unfamiliar and unwanted emotions. It separates us physically and spiritually from our loved one and imposes fear and anguish into our existence. It should not carry as well abandonment from those we rely on for support and comfort; our family, friends, and acquaintances. At the close of services, I ask family, friends, and acquaintances to remember that the survivors are now suffering painful separation from their loved one and I ask them to remember them in their prayers. I now also ask them not to impose a third separation: their abandonment. Mikey Joe 7 - Due Date Today was my grandson's due date. Instead of being at the hospital with my daughter to welcome him into our family, my husband, younger daughter, and I took our bistro table and set it beside his grave. We had dinner and birthday cake and took photos to send to his mom in Hawaii. We placed a baby boy balloon and carnations upon his tiny grave and prayed to our Heavenly Father to let our Mikey Joe know that we love and miss him. It was a very somber and difficult day. When Mikey Joe passed five months ago, my world stopped. It has been reeling ever since. My concentration has suffered, my stamina has suffered, and I find that things that used to matter a great deal to me now are mediocre and somewhat unimportant. I find that I do not wake up every morning ready to jump out of bed and begin my day. I do not attack my work with fervor as I once did. Even lifelong habits, like applying my make-up, fall out of order and are disorganized. His tiny little life inside of his mother's womb affected my life ever so deeply. Only my belief that we will reunite as a family in God's presence keeps my life going. As I prepared for bed, I checked social media and saw this post from his mother. As her mother, my heart breaks for the pain she suffers. I know it pales compared to my own. "Five months ago I gave birth to a baby boy. He was so beautiful and precious. I counted each of his ten fingers and toes. I traced the inside of his ears. I kissed every inch of him. I held him for hours. But I did not bring him home. Before I handed my son's lifeless little body to the hospital morgue, I whispered in his ear, "Mommy loves you, baby." My heart has never been so full yet empty since I lost my sweet Mikey Joe. I labored for hours, I gave birth, yet I went home with empty arms. I remember the next morning breathing a sigh of relief. I thought it was all just a horrible dream. Then it all came flooding back. The next few days were pure misery. We flew to Texas, and we buried our son. Today's was Mikey's due date. The day has been filled with many tears for us. But we have found some comfort. We know that families can be together forever. We know that Mikey is not lost to us and that we will see him again. We will hold him again. And all will be made right if we remain faithful. Mikey baby, know that mommy loves you. And that my heart aches every minute of every day without you. I long for the day when you are in my arms again. I love you, baby." -mommy Losing a baby is such a sad experience. You prepare for his/her arrival, you love him/her so deeply, and you anticipate holding him/her in your arms. Then suddenly for no reason at all, your dreams and plans dissipate as you bury him/her deep within the earth. You never have the opportunity to tell him/her of the blessings he/she brought your way nor of the happiness and love that grew in your soul. And now, our family must wait with patience and faith until the day that our yearning and pain will cease - the day that we join him in heaven to be together forever. If you have lost a baby, I offer my deepest condolences. If you know of someone who has lost a baby, please take a moment to offer a tiny prayer for their tiny bundle of joy, and ask that comfort and peace will heal their heartache and broken souls. My daughter told me something as we buried her tiny son. She said, "Mom, I feel and count on each and every prayer offered on my behalf. It helps me live on." Mikey Joe 8 - Denver Statues Earlier this year, when we lost our grandson, our family agreed that the best place to bury him was at our funeral home. His death and funeral seemed so surreal; dreamlike, in a nightmarish sort of way. My husband and I reside in our funeral home. Mikey Joe is buried just outside of our great room window. The location of his grave places him beside us when we sit to eat our meals and relax before retiring to bed. This closeness allows me to tend to my grandson's needs, just as I do for any of my grandchildren. Mikey Joe's needs, however, are different from theirs. For him, I tend to the physical needs of his grave. Doing so tends to my emotional needs and encourages my grief to soften. When we buried Mikey Joe, we decided to uproot our plantings around the funeral home and place in their stead, a memorial for deceased children. For the past eight months, my husband and I have sought and purchased bronze statues of children engaged in the merriment of childhood activities. These statues will be the focal point of the memorial, surrounded by pavers engraved with the names of lost children. The memorial will assist families to heal by providing a permanent spot of remembrance. We have a lovely ballerina, a boy playing football, two children playing leapfrog, and a little girl cooing a little bird. Last week, I acquired three additional statues; a boy sitting on a saddle, a boy roping, and a girl with her lariat. Although these three children complete our goals for the monument, I hope one day to obtain a bronze pony to match them. Two days ago, I drove my husband to Dallas to hop a plane to Colorado to collect the three statues and transport them back to Texas. I made the air flight and vehicle rental reservations online. Because his flight was too early for us to drive there in a timely fashion, we rented a hotel room in Dallas. I waited as he checked his luggage to make sure that all was well before I drove away. During check-in, the attendant informed him that he was 14 hours early for his flight. I had made a terrible mistake and in order to return safely home, I would have to drive away and leave him there. I dreaded the discomfort he would endure. Eventually, my husband boarded his flight near midnight and landed in Denver past midnight. He had endured nearly 17 hours of complete discomfort in air travel. Upon landing, my husband sought his rental car. As he handed over his credit card to pay for the rental, the staff informed him that because we use a credit card with a debit option, they would not hand over the car. Wow, in the wee hours of the morning, exhausted and grief-stricken, my husband was stranded again. Over the phone, the manager said it was their company's policy to only accept credit cards without a debit option. I asked to pay with cash. Cash is against their company's policy. I asked if I could give her a credit card number of one of our other cards that would not have a debit option attached to it. Apparently, credit cards over the phone are against their policies too. By the way, neither do they accept checks. I called their company's customer service. Unable to justify their company's policy, they would hang up on me in frustration (three times). I was sure there was a solution; we just needed to find it. Unfortunately, they were unwilling to find a remedy. Rather than think, assist, and resolve, they preferred hanging up and stranding travelers in distant airports. Hours and a shift change later, an employee told my husband that if he had a round-trip ticket, their company would accept the debit/credit card as payment. At last, a solution. We immediately purchased a round-trip airfare (one that we will never use), in order to rent a car. In so doing, my husband was able to leave the airport, get to his hotel, and transport three bronze memorial statues home. Unbelievable! Traveling can be stressful even under the best of circumstances but coupled with grief and exhaustion, it is unbearable. The trip will end up costing us quite a bit more than we had anticipated. The cost of purchasing an unneeded round-trip airfare on the spot was shocking. The rudeness, unwillingness to assist, and lack of empathy of the car rental company's employees to a stranded customer stricken with grief, exhausted and completing the task of gathering the final statues for a children's memorial, is unimaginable. In the end, however, the healing benefit to grieving families and ourselves makes it worth whatever difficulties and hardships we have endured to accomplish it. The loss of our grandson has been excruciatingly painful. As grandparents, we have lost our beloved grandson. Additionally, we have suffered the anguish of seeing our daughter lose her son and our grandchildren lose their baby brother. It is unfortunate that many people do not care nor understand the pain and anguish of grief. Kindness, however, should extend a hand of relief rather than obstructions toward the facilitation of recovery. I remember when airlines and travel providers accommodated the bereft. It is sad that they no longer extend basic human kindness, courtesy, nor sympathy. As a grief counselor and funeral practitioner, I see society's ill-treatment of mourners daily in my work. It saddens and worries me that our society grows colder and ever more self-fulfilling. As our family moves forward toward recovery, our memorial to lost children will help mend our pain and anguish. As others come to mourn, they too shall heal from is sustaining mission. Unfortunately, society callously expects mourners to quickly move on. After thorough analyzation, it occurs to me that survivors do not move on. The passage of time merely allows one's resolve for strength to bear their pain with greater reserve. In his absence, our love never diminishes nor slips away; we continue to love our sweet grandson and always will. Even time will not rob us of that privilege, for time does not heal all wounds. Enduring love inflicts enduring pain; we would not have it any other way. Mikey Joe 9 - One Year Later It is four o'clock in the morning, and I have not been able to sleep for days. Thoughts fill my head of February last year. I will travel to Dallas this week to pick up my daughter and her children, just as I did twelve months ago. That visit was filled with stress and anguish as I sorrowfully met my daughter and her family at the passenger gate and then claimed the body of my deceased grandson at the airline's cargo bay. Our family drove to East Texas with our precious little boy, protected by his tiny casket, tethered in the back of my van. At the funeral home, I held his lifeless body and prepared him for burial. Serving and protecting my grandson was such a sweet blessing to my broken heart. I do not know how my daughter survived his death. At times, I wondered if I could muster the strength to continue breathing. Being his funeral director forced me to summon fortitude that I did not know I possessed. It was my highest honor. Returning home will be bittersweet for my daughter. This will be her first visit to her son's grave since his burial. The sadness of his death remains her constant companion and seeing his grave on the anniversary of his death may be very difficult. Grief BRIEF 110 - FIRST VISIT One's first visit to the gravesite after burial can be a great cause of stress. One may be fearful of increased feelings of sadness and depression. If you suffer such fears, plan a short visit - perhaps 5 minutes or less. (Mourning Light, 2016, Tracy Renee Lee) Physically touching his grave and visiting her deceased child will usher in healing for her. She will have the opportunity to talk to him and to express her love and longing for him. It will give her a gift that she has not yet had - the gift of being with her son, Mikey Joe, for more than a moment. Grief BRIEF 108 - THERAPEUTIC Visiting the gravesite can be very therapeutic. It gives private time for reflection and communion. (Mourning Light, 2016, Tracy Renee Lee) She and her children will visit us for four months. Mikey Joe is buried here at our funeral home so she will visit with him every day. She does not know it yet, but she will treasure most sacredly this time they will share together. We will celebrate his birth, mourn his death, and traverse the road to recovery together as a family. This week I will travel to Dallas to pick up my daughter and my sweet grandchildren. Gratefully, I will only visit the passenger gate and bypass the airline's cargo bay. I will be so happy to see them, hold them, and kiss them over and over, and over again. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Michael Joseph Arnot please visit our Sympathy Store.
MAR 11. 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM (CDT)
Queen City Funeral Home
421 Loop 236
Queen City, TX, 75572