7.14.2008

After thoughts ...


I have thought about updating the blog, but it just felt wrong putting everything I considered writing about right above the news of Craig's death. Maybe I can offer some final thoughts on Craig and his funeral which I attended Saturday morning.


The services were absolutely incredible. It wasn't just an amazing family saying goodbye to their son and brother, it was an amazing family remembering this remarkable man and somehow in the process leaving so many of us desiring to become more ... more like Craig and in that process more like our Savior.

The entire program was a beautiful tribute to Craig. However, the part that stayed with me the most was when his father and his mother got up to speak a few words {I am so grateful for my friend Erica who somehow was able to jot down their extraordinary experience}. As mentioned in my earlier post about Craig, I had heard he had jumped feet first into the lake to retrieve an oar and simply didn't resurface. However, that wasn't the case ... He jumped feet first, but he did resurface. There was a wind on the lake that day and the water was quite choppy. The waves began to take Craig under and the boat that Craig's parents were on {a sailboat} just kept getting swept further and further away from their son.

His father spoke of this experience, "This is a very unnatural, and unusual circumstance. It is the worst feeling to watch your son die. Marie {his mom} did all that she could, she threw ropes, she tried so hard. I jumped in the water. But we couldn't reach him in time. We did all that we could."

His mom then spoke, "That night when we went home, I couldn't sleep, as you can imagine. I went into our backyard and sat on a swing we have, and looked up at the stars. I poured my heart out to Heavenly Father. I told him, 'I cannot live anymore. The pain, the anguish is too much for my heart to carry. The hurt is too much.' And then, somewhere between my tears, my prayers, and my dreams, the pain was taken away. Many people have said that they are amazed at how strong I am through this whole thing. But I tell them, I am not strong. The power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is strong. And it is because of our Savior that my pain is gone, and has been replaced with peace."

Craig will always be a reminder to me of how I want to live. His family's experience through this tragedy will always be a reminder to me that I can always turn to the Lord for His healing grace.
Before I end this massive post, I want to leave you with a few things from Craig. The first was found in his journal, a list of his personal goals:

1. People are always more important.

2. Do what you need to do when you need to do it whether you want to or not.

3. I am not a victim, ever.

4. Purity is power.

5. Leave it better than when you found it.

6. Life is a joy, a journey in becoming like my Heavenly Father.
7. Live with purpose.

And, my favorite, "We can always lift others, no matter how bad of a situation we are in. It is a divine gift. The only true and lasting joy comes from forgetting ourselves and helping those around us."

Craig, you lived up to your own words more perfectly than almost anyone I have ever seen. We felt your love, we saw your service. That divine gift was in you. Hopefully your legacy may continue through those who know and love you. Goodbye, my friend.

14 comments:

BreAna Palmer said...

What a sad thing that you are going through but also a uplifting thing as well. It is amazing how our heavenly father knows our needs and is there for us through everything. What amazing parents craig has no wonder he was such an great guy. All me best to you.

Brad & Jamie Downs said...

What a hard thing for anyone to deal with, but what an amazing tribute to your friend! The list you shared from his journal really made me think, thank you for sharing it. I hope you are able to find peace in the weeks and months to come, it takes a while and sometimes just when you think its going to get easier you deal with another level of grief. Just remember the good times & most of all how much our Father in Heaven loves you.

Brandon and Erica said...

and to think I didn't have any more tears inside of me! Thank you for the beautiful "final" thoughts. I can't help but wonder if there was ANYBODY that didn't come away from that service feeling like they have a lot of work left. And, I know what you mean...it just did feel wrong posting anything else after posting about Craig's passing. I don't think he would've wanted us to dwell on that though. Craig rocks!

brookie84 said...

Thanks for that Mindy. I was sad that I couldnt make it to the funeral but I am glad that you shared your thoughts about it so I could have peace about our dear friend's passing.

Jade said...

Wow I had no idea. Thank so much for sharing everything. I didn't know him very well but what I knew of him he was such a neat guy.

Chance said...

Well the only thing I can say is that I want to be better! So starting now, I voted on your poll thing and I want my gold star!! love yer insides! word, the end!

Matt and Avree said...

Mindy, thanks for sharing that, it was very sad but inspired me to do better.

Bethany said...

agreed. what a great service!
i'm glad we were able to meet up afterwards. please never ever judge me or pass along stories that were shared at that dear lunch....please.

Allred Mom said...

Mindy...
I wondered what you would blog after telling of Craig's passing. I want you to know that the next blog, your final thoughts of him, was wonderful and it is a great tribute to him, and his family! He touched many lives. You were lucky to have him as a friend, and he was lucky to have you as his friend, too!

SNW said...

what a humbling list! i think i'll adopt it myself. thank you for sharing, friend.

Chennell B said...

Wow, Min. That is so sad. It sounds like he was such a great guy. That is one of the most touching blogs ever. Thanks for sharing all of that. When you get a chance, call me. Love ya!

ShaeandJustin said...

Hey Mindy! How the heck are you. I got a message from Seth and Mel, and it led me back to you. How's life and everything going? I haven't seen you in years. Hope all is going well for you.

shae

Shan said...

I just saw this post below your most recent one and had to read. Loved Craig. His funeral was really inspiring wasn't it? One of my favorite people ever.

Erica said...

This post popped up under your recent one, and it brought a flood of memories to me. I still remember that service practically word for word. What an example Craig was to all of us and still is. I even find myself still thinking of him on occasion (especially 4th of July time). I went to his blog where he tells "7 things learned from a firework" and his last line is so telling: "Wahoo for the resurrection!!" It means so much more, doesn't it?

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