Scars in Heaven

This afternoon our family said our final goodbyes to Grace. If you aren’t up to speed, Grace was my ten year old sister-in-law, who passed away.

Funerals, in general, are sad. Funerals for children are very sad. A parent should never have to bury their child, but the fact is that many have to. Life can be so unfair.

Prior to the service starting, my father-in-law pulled me aside and asked if I would be a pall bearer. Without having to think, I said yes. It would be an honor to do that.

As with most funerals, the pastor shared stories of things that he had learned by talking with the family. One particular story involved Ella:

After Grace had passed away her mom and dad had her bedroom door closed. Ella had gone over there with her and when she saw the door closed, she insisted that she go see Grace.

Now, Ella was aware that Grace was sick. She knew that she couldn’t eat cookies, because she had a feeding tube. Prior to her passing we told Ella that Aunt Grace was going to live with Jesus soon.

So that day she pulled the door open, only to see that Grace was not there. She asked where she was and Sam said she wasn’t here. “Well, tell her to come back,” she said. Sam reminded her that she had gone to live with Jesus. Ella asked “And now she can eat cookies?”

Yes, baby, now she can eat cookies.

At one point in the service a woman sang a song I was unfamiliar with. It was called Scars In Heaven. It was the perfect song. Grace had numerous health problems and more surgeries than I can count. Her scars were many.

I found out the song is by Casting Crowns. Here is a link to the music video:

Here are the lyrics:

Scars in Heaven


If I had only known the last time would be the last time
I would’ve put off all the things I had to do
I would’ve stayed a little longer, held on a little tighter
Now what I’d give for one more day with you


‘Cause there’s a wound here in my heart where something’s missing
And they tell me that it’s gonna heal with time
But I know you’re in a place where all your wounds have been erased
And knowing yours are healed is healing mine


The only scars in Heaven, they won’t belong to me and you
There’ll be no such thing as broken, and all the old will be made new
And the thought that makes me smile now, even as the tears fall down
Is that the only scars in Heaven are on the hands that hold you now


I know the road you walked was anything but easy
You picked up your share of scars along the way
Oh, but now you’re standing in the sun, you’ve fought your fight and your race is run
The pain is all a million miles away


The only scars in Heaven, they won’t belong to me and you
There’ll be no such thing as broken, and all the old will be made new
And the thought that makes me smile now, even as the tears fall down
Is that the only scars in Heaven, yeah, are on the hands that hold you now


Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, for the hands that hold you now


There’s not a day goes by that I don’t see you
You live on in all the better parts of me
Until I’m standing with you in the sun, I’ll fight this fight and this race I’ll run
Until I finally see what you can see, oh-oh


The only scars in Heaven, they won’t belong to me and you
There’ll be no such thing as broken, and all the old will be made new
And the thought that makes me smile now, even as the tears fall down
Is that the only scars in Heaven are on the hands that hold you now

———-

At the end of the service, those in attendance walked up and passed Grace in her casket. Once it was all family, we all walked up together. Watching Sam’s mom and Dad say their goodbyes was hard enough, but they then positioned the stuffed animals around her in the casket and closed it.

Even with close family members, every funeral I have attended I have never seen them close the casket. It was more powerful and more emotional than I can say. I understand that some feel like it helps with closure, but it was just a bit more than I could handle.

As pallbearer, I stood at my position and helped walk her to the door. We lifted her into the back of the hearse. As it drove off the, we stood watching out the door. Once the hearse was out of site, dad called us all together and shared words through tears.

The family had a luncheon immediately afterwards. Ella and Andrew were with their cousins in the playroom at the church for the service. So many people were happy to see them when they came out. It was close to Naptime, however, so they were a bit tired.

The show of love and support from family and friends was so nice. There were lots of great conversations over lunch and in hallways, and such. I am glad that there were so many people there to offer support. I pray that it will continue in the time ahead.

My grandma once observed that “we only see family at weddings and funerals.”. Sadly, this tends to be true. Time is so short and I hope that there are other family get togethers planned so that truth isn’t so … True.

Until we meet again, Grace…. Save a few cookies for us.

15 thoughts on “Scars in Heaven

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