"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Last Words. Honoring Ariel

The procession stopped Clarkston. It was over a mile long!

Eulogy? Eulo..WHAT??? Like seriously what is that?? This word sounds sterile. EULOGY  is like one of those words that make things proper.
And there was nothing proper about any of this. It wasn't proper for a girl so full of life and influence to be ripped out from under us.
I was asked yesterday to speak for her at the funeral. I was so grateful. I wanted so badly to be a part of her. I was dying inside the last few days. I wanted to be a part of something. I kept thinking "How could I be so active in her life and so absence in her death?" "How God can I know so much about her, how can I have a life of memories with her and be in the shadow lands?"
But Kim called me and gave me the greatest honor of my life. I felt Gods healing hand at that very moment. God does know my Heart. God hears my Murmurings. God performed Miracles.

The people walked through The River shaken and scared. Afraid of closure, afraid of the pain and the hurt of losing someone so young and full of life. So many of us confused and in shock that we were at Ariel's funeral. We had appointments with her, dates with her and none of them were under these circumstances.  We were going to see her at work or at church, she was going to call us to hang out or we were going to just get together and catch up on things. But not this. This has done more than interrupt our plans - this has interrupted our lives...Forever.

I sat in the front row. I was not going into the shadow lands. Ariel would want me up front. She would want me close to her and I was going to be. And I needed  this last time to be next to her.
I held some scribbled notes of her awesomeness. Not enough words to describe her and not enough time:

I walked up shaking. I have never spoke in front of so many people in my life. The auditorium was packed. "Stay Strong Anita, Do this for her."

" Ariel was not JUST anything to any of us. She wasn't JUST a Daughter, She wasn't JUST a Sister, She wasn't JUST a Granddaughter, She wasn't just a Aunt, a Friend, a Cousin, a Coworker or a Girlfriend to any of us. She wasn't anything LESS than JUST AMAZING to all of us.

Philippians 4:13 "I can do ALL things through CHRIST who Strengthens me"
What does that mean? To many of us we seek words, mottoes or quotes to help define us. But to some of us we cling to Christ and his words, his promises and his truths.
Gods words are more powerful than the letters on paper. They are miraculous. We seek his words in life and they not only define us they create us. They heal us, give us courage and strength, purpose and vision.
SO it is no great surprise someone as amazing as Ariel would pick a life verse like..

Philippians 4:13 "I can do ALL things through CHRIST who Strengthens me"

From the moment Ariel was born into this world she came out a fighter. With lungs under developed she began to fight from her first breath.
And she FOUGHT.
She fought the awkwardness of life only to discover she was fearfully and wonderfully made.
She fought the crowds only to discover she could walk in her own direction and others would follow her.
She fought the pains and disappointments of this life only to discover they made her better.
She fought this WORLD and all the enticements it has to offer only to find pure JOY lies within herself and not within this world!

Her Strength came NOT from herself.  Ariel knew it came from something bigger than ever her. It came from God and his Truth and his Words.
That little verse decorated her bedroom and belongings. You could find it scribbled on scraps of paper and personal belongings reminding her daily to FIGHT.

This Little Verse made Ariel LARGER than LIFE.

IT Said 
"I AM ARIEL, I will work 3 jobs and put myself through college."
"I AM ARIEL, and you CANNOT love just a piece of me, you have to love ALL of me. My Good, My Bad, My Happiness, and my Sadness." 

When we close our eyes all we see is this contagious larger than life smile. 
And in the hundreds of pictures so many of us have collected it is not hard to feel her fun spirited joy.
Ariel was not camera shy. From cameras to phones to computers with a camera she felt so comfortable in the lens.

And in the lens of life she was bold and confident as well. We look through her life and see she made that difference.
The difference in other people lives.
We look through these collage of pictures and are reminded of a girl who was a leader. 
A girl of great strength and incredible leadership. 
A girl who was quirky and goofy. 
A girl you could find yourself laughing with only to wonder what it was that she got you laughing for! 
A girl who made the Salvation Army  cooler than Hollister or Abercrombie!
A girl who drew strength in the Comfort of a little verse, Phil 4:13.

And that strength created her as we can see in the quotes and words she wrote:
"Life Aint always beautiful
But the struggles make you stronger 
And the changes make you wise
And the happiness has its on way of taking its own sweet time"

"God has a reason for allowing things to happen. We may never understand his wisdom, but we simply have to trust his will."

"Worshiping, lots of homework, and my beautiful nieces 3 birthday party. Sundays are the best day of the week." 

":After this week...I'm more than ready for church tomorrow and time with my family for my nieces birthday party!

"Life isn't about finding yourself it is about creating yourself."

There was a time when little Ariel started growing up and growing out and away. And Andy and I were concerned for her. We missed her. We voiced our concern to her as we always did. And she responded desperately afraid we were MAD at her. She did not want us mad at her. We  Responded...
..Remember the people that MadeTime for you In their LIFE~ We love you~~~

The memories are so many. I remember going hiking in the woods and she had to smell good and look good all the time including our hike. She wondered why all the bugs were hunting her down only!
Or watching her compassion for children as she always loved on both my children and Aunt Becky's children from the time they were infants.
I laughed seeing Ariel in so many of our Thanksgiving pictures. Ariel would have her hands in the stuffing, helping me prepare the Turkey. And of course Ariel was always the first in line and the one you could never find to help with the dishes!
I love her loving for my children. She taught them so much. She would tuck them in bed and say their prayers with them. She had so much love for children.

In closing
I look out and see now how she made her choices and am so blessed by the love and support of the friends she chose.
I have read so many time the Quote " Live life to the fullest, And live a life without Regret."
I never knew what that meant. These last few weeks I have learned a lot. I have learned what that means.
It means like Ariel to live a life of intention. Live life fully, live life with greatness and live life with peace at the end of the day that you were the best YOU you could be, so you never have any regrets. That is what Ariel would want. And I want you to know her strength came from Phil 4:13. This verse was her. It defined her."

My Marathon is Sunday. Over the course of 5 days my body has been neglected and run down. I am running on fumes and still can not sleep. My diet has been enough to sustain life but not proper for running 26 miles Sunday. I want to run for Ariel. I want to do this so bad in her honor.
Today on my 4 mile run I wanted to run free. I wanted to run hard. I wanted the pain of the run to run deeper than the pain of a broken heart. But I couldn't. Because I knew if I want to run Sunday I have to be disciplined today. I forced myself to eat and eat right. I have to try to recover the last 5 days in 4 days.
God Help me.

I Love you dear Ariel.



  1. Anita,

    I, along with everyone in attendance yesterday was incredibly moved by the eulogy for Ariel. She wasn't just a part of your life, you were obviously a big part of her life, too! I'm pretty sure when you sat down everyone within earshot knew who Ariel was and was touched deeply by what you had to say, she was quite obviously an inside-out beautiful young woman who will live in the hearts and thoughts of those who were fortunate enough to know her. I'll be praying for you, my sister, to run this race on Sunday with every ounce of courage and strength you have, because Philippians 4:13 isn't just words, its life and its promise. God bless you and your entire family. We never get 'over' the death of a loved one.....but, we do somehow get 'through' it. Connie Glynn

    1. Connie,
      Your words were not void. Through tears I have read your words.
      Your thoughtfulness means so much. Ariel was like a daughter to me. This is my 3rd Eulogy I have done and BY FAR the hardest one.
      You can not prepare for such a sudden tragedy and are really unequipped when having to come face to face with this sudden loss of someone so young and like a child of your own.
      Life will be different.

      I wanted to say thank you for the family with your services. I am working with some fundraisers and they want to mail out a money order to help with the costs. I could not tell them the name of your company though. If I could get the name that would be great. Thank you so much for your generosity and your kind words.

      In Love, Anita