Celebration of Life
A week ago today at around this same time, I arrived home from the hospital where my beautiful wife had just passed away. Just hours before I was holding her hand, rubbing her forehead, and cleaning the dried blood off her lips which, in her final hours, had been coughed up due to excessive and non stoppable bleeding in her lungs. Tears were pouring, head was pounding, I felt completely overwhelmed and alone. Ginger's body laid in the bed, but her soul was gone and for the first time in nearly two years she was in complete peace, perfectly calm, and totally pain free. Now a week later I still miss her dearly but am beginning to feel like I'm back on my feet and able to walk around without a blurring filter over the thoughts of what happened that day. Our kids have been absolute rocks and have taught me so much about how to handle a tough situation. Like Ginger, Luke asks a lot of questions about her and totally gets whats going on. He's even brought up private conversations that Ginger has had with him in a way to prepare him for life without her physical presence. Noah is our snugger and misses her warmth dearly. He wonders why we can't FaceTime with heaven and is always commenting on how beautiful his mom is. Coral is precious...she's a true gem, and I've seen Ginger shine through her in more ways over the past 7 days than the past three and a half years. I am so grateful for the prayers, texts, emails, help and support you continue to provide. It is amazing to feel your warmth, kindness and generosity. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Over the past few days my brother, Russell, and his wife, Sarah, have been working on my request to be able to receive Ginger's body at the hospital in Orange and escort it to the crematory where she will be made to ash in the coming days. I thought this request was relatively simple but quickly learned that it's not - it took a lot of hunting for the right people who would provide clearance for me to get chaperoned access into the morgue. Ultimately Russ and Sarah got it done. This morning I met and shadowed "Mr. A", the kind transporter who agreed to allow me to participate. As we went through the process I encountered an experience which reminded and helped me to understand the feeling that Ginger would talk about so many times after she'd tow her IV pole throughout the hospital and explore the halls of the seven hospital floors to meet the patients and their families. Today as we entered, "Mr. A" and a hospital staffer approached the refrigeration door in which behind Ginger's body laid. Before they could open the door they had to wheel a baby sized gurney aside to give them clearance for the door to open. The gurney was small, sterile, and chillingly difficult to see. I became humbled and aware of what Ginger would talk with me about after meeting patients and their familes. She would hear their story, and share hers, then talk, pray, and keep in touch. Some of the stories she'd hear we're extremely hard to hear and the journeys those people had were much longer, more painful, sometimes damaging and very deep. Now don't get me wrong...Ginger's passing has been tough...really tough...extremely tough. The past week has taught me so much about who Ginger is to our three young kids and the forever lasting impact she has established in all of us. Really, I am still sad, am missing her, and love her beyond what I'll ever be able to explain but to see the small gurney and understand that it represents the loss of an innocent, beautiful and perfect child provided a clear perspective of what she would frequently share: Our family has been through a lot, and still has a lot to encounter, but there are always people around us that have it harder. Always be aware of those around you and understand that we have God to carry us through.
This evening I sent out an email to subscribers of our site with information on Ginger's Celebration of Life. It is July 8th, 12pm at Capo Beach Church in Dana Point/Capistrano Beach. If you didn't receive that email and your reading this, please let me know so I can get you more details. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org