Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Journey Of A Lifetime Continues...

Today I received the final edit of Gavin's funeral service.  We are so, so grateful to former co-workers and friends of Ed's from Accenture for arranging the professional videography for both the visitations and the entire funeral mass.  Videotaping a funeral might seem a bit... odd.  But I have documented every moment of Gavin's life - both the good and the bad.  This felt so normal to me.  I also didn't want us to forget the details that grief can sometimes bury - the people that came, the touching moments, the eulogies, the music and the flowers.  But more than that, I wanted yet another keepsake for Brian.  This video will be visible proof that his brother touched so many lives.  And he'll see himself there, lest he forget his big brother's funeral when he's grown.

The video is 49 minutes and 45 seconds, so I don't expect many of you to watch the entire thing.  But if you do, there are a few things I wanted to point out so you understand the meaning.  Everything in this service was specifically chosen by us.  I'm attaching the program below as it looked in the design phase (all the photos ended up being in color).  In the program you'll see that the eulogies were given by me... Miss Sara... and my siblings, Tom and Bean, who are Gavin's Godparents.  My brother Mike and my oldest niece, Emily, did the readings.  Ed wrote and delivered the "Prayers of the Faithful."  If you read the personal note from us on page 11, you'll see that we included all of Gavin's therapists and aides that helped him over his entire life.  From his very first therapist, Patti... to his very last teacher, Miss Megan... we wanted them all to have a special part in the service.  Our home helpers brought up the gifts... and each therapist and teacher of Gavin's carried up a single flower to place in front of his photos.  It was so important to me to include them in a big way.  Over the years, I've heard a lot of "I don't know how you do it!" or "You're so amazing" or "Gavin has come so far because of you!"  I never felt that was totally accurate.  Ed and I both feel we stood on a LOT of shoulders since the day Gavin was born - and we owe all of these women so much for helping us help Gavin.  

The other special things worth mentioning are the donated items.  This program was put together and printed out by Meghan Krevolin from Linked Forever Photography - and she accepted donations from many of my readers who generously wanted to contribute to make it so special.  We were so moved when we heard that.  Also, the gorgeous flowers you will see in the video were generously donated by Gene McGonagle from Ambler Flower Shop.  He went above and beyond - even clipping branches from our cherry blossom tree in the front yard (which was planted in memory of Darcy) to include her in the tribute to her brother.  Unbelievable.  The mass was said by Father James Kelly from Epiphany of Our Lord in Plymouth Meeting, PA.  I was baptized in this church...we were married by Father Kelly in this church...and Father Kelly baptized both of our boys in this church.  We were so grateful that he agreed to say the mass and he did such a wonderful job with his homily.

(If you click on this first photo, you can click through all the pages and you'll see them larger)









Finally, we want to thank Cinemacake Filmmakers for putting this video together so beautifully.  They do such incredible work (as you'll see on their website).  In a few days they will get me our video from the viewing the night before the funeral.  In that video you'll see all of the special touches - the photo boards, mementos and more.

Thank you for watching...for honoring Gavin's memory from your own home tonight...and for loving our little family.  Because of all of you, we feel surrounded every day by love.  Thank you.





20 comments:

  1. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful little boy xxx

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  2. Kate, thank you so very much for sharing this beautiful tribute to dear Gavin. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family every single day. xoxo

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  3. I wouldn't have dreamed of watching anything less than the entire beautiful video. Thank you for sharing so much of your life with us. What a beautiful service that not only reminded me yet again of what an amazing boy Gavin is, but also how moving a mass can be.

    This may seem like a strange thing to comment on, but to see Fr Kelly get emotional was very moving. It can sometimes feel like weddings, funerals, masses, etc can seem rote to so many priests. Gavin certainly is no ordinary case, but to see him be so moved at the end of his poingnant homily was yet another reminder of the touching soul that you and Ed gave life to.

    Thank you. So many people thinking of you tonight. xo - sheila m.

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  4. I watched the whole thing and could feel so much love for your family from everyone in the church...thank you for sharing this with us. No one will ever forget your little angel.

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  5. You and your family have brought light to my darkness, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing all that GAVIN was and still is. He too is my HERO.. GOD BLESS YOU, I wish you peace!

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  6. Dear Kate,
    Thank you so much for sharing Gavin's service with us. You have a wonderful way with words. Have you ever considered writing a book about Gavin? I think when the time is right you should consider it. I know I would be first in line to buy it. You can even use your profits to benefit Gavin's Trust Project. It's just a thought. God Bless You and yours.

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  7. Incredible! Thank goodness for my box of tissue on this computer desk!

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  8. Watched every moment. Lovely service (and special kudos to Ed for the prayers of the faithful - nicely done!)

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  9. I watched it all. Thank you for sharing more of your boy with us. Stunning. X

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  10. Truly beautiful Kate! <3 Thanks so much for sharing your family with us once again. That was such a wonderful tribute to our superhero! Continued love, hugs, and prayers for you all!!!

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  11. While I had to pause it more then once to grab some tissues or tend to my son, I did watch the entire video, and I am very moved. While I read your posts and take in every word you write, to SEE the love that Gavin had in his life, to SEE how many people he touched and became a part of, it is positively amazing. Thank you for sharing this Kate. It was a beautiful tribute to your son. Gavin truly was a superhero, and continues to be.

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  12. Beautiful tribute to your superhero Gavin. I especially loved the final song Let There Be Peace on Earth, it was played at my wedding and always holds a special place in my heart.

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  13. Thank you for sharing Gavin's life with us. Gavin's "dash" has changed thousands of lives. We all have a birth date and, barring being raptured, a death date. What we do with the dash between those two dates determines the course that our life takes. When Gavin's course ended, there is no doubt in my mind that he now resides in the presence of God. Kate, you and Ed are extraordinary parents.

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  14. So beautiful, and so moving. You could feel the love for Gavin and your family. God bless all of you. Gavin was surely honored on this day.

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  15. Such a beautiful, moving, touching tribute to your little superhero. You spoke with such poise, love, and strength. Gavin was proud of his mommy that day (and everyday)! xoxo The love that you as a family share was certainly felt through this video.

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  16. Dear Kate, Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute. God bless you and Ed and Brian.

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  17. Beautiful service! The boy who never uttered a word changes the world who would have thunk it not us only God. The world is a darker place without you Gavin.

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  18. Hi Kate, Ed, and Brian:

    I am so thankful that you included such a personal piece to your blog. I am blessed that I was able to see it. I was moved to say the least- I whispered "Gavin" with Sara when she read the book to Gavin (a book I read to my own child) and I prayed along with you all. I have to tell you though- the ending where you all walked out together- a single unpenetrable solid unit- I am more than moved. My heart swelled with pride for a family I will never meet, and a little boy who still does such big things. Thank you for posting it and continuing with Chasing Rainbows.

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  19. thankful and speechless.

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