I can hardly believe that a week has gone by since Jim passed away. For those of you that didn’t already know, Jim was called Home last Wednesday, just three days shy of his birthday. The final week of his life was really awful for him. His mother, sister and I were by his side as he took his final breath. Even though we have known for almost two years that this is how our story would end, we were still not prepared for the heartache. I take comfort in knowing that he is no longer in pain, but it doesn’t take away the sadness. You can read his obituary here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/publicopiniononline/obituary.aspx?n=james-allen-ross-jim&pid=179812285&fhid=8385
On his birthday, the girls and I went to one of his favorite places and released balloons to celebrate. It was quite difficult having his birthday just three days after his passing, but it was good for us to be together. They sent kisses and messages with their balloons and we watched them until they were out of sight. Then we took a short hike in his honor and followed up by eating some lasagna which was the first birthday meal that I ever cooked for him.
I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love at his service on Monday. So many family members and friends were there to offer their love and condolences. The service was just perfect. It was exactly what Jim had planned and it brought me much comfort to feel his presence through the poetry and songs that he picked out. I will list the names of the poems here so that you may look them up and enjoy them if you wish. It wouldn’t be a service for Jim without his own thoughtfulness and humor. A year ago he recorded a video to be shared at his service and I share it here as well because it was just perfectly “Jim.” He received military honors at the conclusion of the service.
I leave you for now with many thanks for the love and support that you all have shown, and I know that my girls and I will continue to be lifted up by those around us during the months to come. This poem was one that Jim had chosen to be printed on the inside cover of the bulletin. Following that is the list of the other poems that were read at the service and a link to the video.
“I fall asleep in the full and certain hope
That my slumber shall not be broken
And that though I be all forgetting
Yet shall I not be all forgotten
But continue that life in the thoughts and deeds
Of those I loved”
Poems from the service:
“Little Gidding” by T.S. Eliot
Song in honor of our marriage “Make You Feel My Love” (we picked this out together a few months ago to have played at the service)
“Song of Myself” (a portion from #46) from Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
“You Are” by Rumi
“Gone From My Sight” by Henry Van Dyke