On a glorious day full of sunshine and mild breeze we buried my dad.

The day leading up to the funeral and on the day of the funeral I had my emotions all under control and my grief all wrapped up in “in his condition it was the best thing”. It was undoubtedly the best thing to happen to my dad for there was no hope of recovering at all and the pain was terrifying. To him and to the ones who loved him.

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The service in church was short but beautiful. It was in my dad’s spirit in every way, the hymns were selected according to his great passion: Nature. His casket was a handmade pine tree casket staying faithful to the nature he so loved. My brother and I chose his burial site and independent of each other chose the same spot on the cemetery: The one on top of the hill, where he had the view to the river and the fields behind him.

Since the burial I have been trying to get my act together both practically in terms of getting back home and also emotionally, because the day after the funeral I just fell apart. Words can’t express how much I miss him. His voice. His laughter. His presence. I know it was His timing and it was indeed perfect and how grateful am I to have had the chance to walk the last 2 1/2 months with my dad!! I know he was sick and it couldn’t be different. Everyone I talk to tries to tell me how good it was that my dad now has peace. Yes, it’s good. I also hear how relieved I must feel. Maybe I am. But – it’s grief. And it’s so easy to wrap grief up in illness. Grief means to loose a loved one. No matter if it was a car accident or a sick person or a 90 year old great grandmother. It’s still grief and grief matters.

My grief is personal and at this stage, I get the feeling I’m not really allowed to feel this way. Missing him. Because it was best for him to depart from this world. Yes… it was. I can’t and won’t argue with that. But my grief is still personal and I miss my dad and I will grieve and cry and feel this way until I learn to live with it. With the Lord’s help I will learn to live with it.

Tomorrow we fly back home and I am torn in my heart. I have to say goodbye to my dad’s home… and it hurts. I’m not likely to ever see this place again and it makes me want to stay. I do want to go back home and get away from all these hard emotions and being “around my dad 24/7”, but I don’t want to leave.

Praying for good weather and an easy flight tomorrow. Asking the Lord to keep my heart in one piece as we fly out and for a good start on life back in Japan.

With love and thanks for any prayers.


4 thoughts on “Funeral

  1. You have had my prayers during this entire ordeal with your Dad, as I have walked a similar path. I can tell that you have grown spiritually throughout it and hope you are now safely back home and finding peace for yourself. I am sorry to respond to this so late, but my wife was in the hospital and then rehab for 14 days and I have been very busy with that and an interim ministry I have undertaken. May God bless you and keep you and yours!


  2. Marie Okamoto

    Oh Lene, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Grief is indeed personal and individual. I think it is hard for others to help, because it is so very personal, but these people are surely well meaning. They just don’t know what else to say and want you to be ok. All of those things are true but it doesn’t “solve” or “erase” your grieving process. Be kind to yourself. Let yourself grieve. Let yourself smile again, if only in brief moments at first. Create and act in love. Just be real and be with Jesus. You’ll get through this and find the way to manage your heart’s loss that works for you. Only you can find it, and only in His time. In the meantime, I will be praying for you. (((Hugs)))

    On 8/25/15, Stressless with Jesus – Stress less with


  3. I am so sorry for your loss. On one hand I can say that I know how you feel having lost my father several years ago, but on the other hand having experienced grief I also know that it is deeply and intimately unique for each and every one. Give yourself permission to go through the entire range of emotions knowing that Jesus bore your grief so that the overwhelming sorrow would not destroy you. You are in my prayers.


  4. Grieving with and for you, Lene. The grief you feel is normal and not to be avoided. TRUE LOVE NEVER DIES (I Cor 13: 7 and Lamentations 3:22). To truly love someone means to be invested in their life – to want to be with them and to give of yourself to them. When they pass, that is no longer possible to much of an extent, and the heart grieves. Since the love never dies, the grief never dies either – though thankfully it does step to the background of life after a while and becomes more bearable. My mom has been gone for 36 years, and my dad died has been gone for 13 years. I still miss and grieve for both of them. It doesn’t take much to get the tears flowing. I don’t care a whit what people think about it, either. But how grateful we both are that our wonderful parents were in our lives!


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