May 15, 2011

A Funereal Farewell For Ones Teens

JayCee's delighted smile
JayCee recently celebrated her 20th birthday, and for several weeks prior to the event, was bemoaning the fact that she was no longer going to be a teenager. 

Last night I threw a surprise party / funeral / wake for her to farewell her teens.

We had a cake shaped like a coffin, decorated with a miniature hearse which read "RIP JTY" which meant "Rest in Peace JayCee's Teenage Years".

Everyone that attended was asked to come dressed in black. I read a prepared eulogy for the occasion. We also had a special ceremony where people wrote down something positive they remembered from their teens. We burnt the pieces of paper, and placed the ashes in an urn for JayCee. I even planned to play Reveille on kazoo as the paper was being burnt... a nice touch I thought.

JayCee loved it all! She had no idea that we were doing anything special for her.

Following are some photos from the night, and the eulogy text that was read.
The urn in which the ashes were placed.
JayCee's Guests at the Wake
Sue went all out as a mourner at the wake.
The Eulogy
We are gathered here today to mourn with JayCee as she farewells her teenage years.
And while Jesus resurrected people from the dead, there is no record of him bringing one’s teens back to life, so it is with a sense of sadness as well as joy that we remind you JayCee, that life and the years must go on.
Psalm 118:24 tells us that “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
It seems odd that we should be talking about rejoicing during such a sad occasion.
We share with JayCee as she mourns her loss and we know that with time, she will adapt to the loss of her teenage years, though she will never forget them.
In Phillipians 3:12&13 Paul said, “I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” 
As JayCee laments the passing of her childhood, we can celebrate with her that this is the beginning of life in a richer and fuller sense.
Psalm 30:11-12 says, “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!”
And so it is with hope and joy that we remind JayCee of her life to come in heaven and Revelation 21:4 which states, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” And I believe we can also say with certainty that JayCee will no more mourn the passing of her teens.
This reminds me about the Pastor who was walking in front of his church when from behind the fence, he heard the voice of his young son and his playmates talking about a small, dead sparrow they had found. They were discussing the need for an appropriate burial for the bird and how they had found a small box to bury it in, and had just finished digging the hole. One of the playmates suggested that the Pastor’s son should perform the ceremony.
Remembering a prayer that his father often said, the lad placed the box into the hole and in a respectful tone said, “Glory be unto the Father, and unto the Son, and into the hole he goes.”

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