This is the blog post that my wonderful friend, Lisa Bearnson posted on Monday. I had the pleasure of spending most of last Thursday and Friday with Lisa and her remarkable family. It was a time to honor, remember, commemorate and reminisce the life of Bob Downs. I loved spending time with the family and recounting the beloved memories of this great man. I took the photographs that Lisa used in her blog post. I was truly uplifted after this experience.
February 23, 2015
I’ve learned this simple principle more than ever before during this past week.
Even in our darkest moments, there is light!
THANK YOU for all your sweet notes, prayers, flowers, visits, and love! I felt the power of your friendship and have been lifted up in my grief.
The apples in the bottom left bouquet represent my father’s love of gardening and his childhood fruit farm.
Thanks to my dear friend, Pam Taylor, for capturing so many moments during my dad’s visitation and funeral.
First of all, a big shout out to my mom for being such a rock and the best care taker in the world. She was buoyed by so much love and her girls and grandchildren haven’t left her side.
The funeral program was so beautiful filled with lovely music and the spoken word. All of my father’s children, their spouses, and grandchildren sang the closing hymn: “I Know that My Redeemer Lives.” I swear a heavenly chorus, directed by my dad, was singing along with us. Every grandchild was present except my missionary, Collin.
A dear New Zealand friend, Mandy Blake, knew I’d be feeling this loss so sent flowers via Kerri Bradford from her and my missionary! Ahhh–be still my heart!
It was so tender how all the grandchildren formed a big circle while holding hands around the casket at the cemetery. They then put one hand on the casket–the love was flowing and it was such a tender moment.
Eight of the grandchildren were pallbearers.
There were so many special moments during the services but the military taps, 21-gun salute, bagpiper, sending balloons off, and my dad’s best friend, DeRae Broderick, at our side were just a few
My dad had many favorite things. Here is a representation of just a few of them.
My dad was still singing just two days before he passed away. This quote is so true of him:
“The song had ended but the melody lingers on.” Irving Berlin
Thanks for going on this journey with me. I’m already missing my “Thursdays with Dad,” holding his hand, and eating Arby’s mints. But, this little girls feels so much peace! I know my dad unconditionally loved me. And, that is the best feeling in the world.
It is always difficult to feel the sadness that death stirs up in oneself. I continually have to remind myself that death is one more step towards our progression here on earth. I am comforted by the following quote by Thomas S. Monson:
“Every thoughtful person has asked himself the question best phrased by Job of old: ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ Try as we may to put the question out of our thoughts, it always returns. Death comes to all mankind. It comes to the aged as they walk on faltering feet. Its summons is heard by those who have scarcely reached midway in life’s journey, and often it hushes the laughter of little children. But what of an existence beyond death? Is death the end of all? … My brothers and sisters, we know that death is not the end. This truth has been taught by living prophets throughout the ages. It is also found in our holy scriptures.”
Lisa, it was an honor to be with you and your family. Your father was an amazing man and I know without a doubt that you will meet him again one day. I love you!