Friday, August 22, 2008

Funeral Plans

Just a quick note to tell you about Joseph's memorial and visitation. The visitation will be on Sunday from 4-8 at Christ Community Church in Franklin. The Funeral will be at the same church on Monday at 10 am. If you need directions click here.

We appreciate and are overwhelmed by all the support we are receiving. Thanks for your continued prayers for us and for Holly and the extended family.


Anonymous said...

I have been following your story for a while and my heart breaks for you. Last night as I sat down with my daughter to read out of her children's devotional, I thought of you. The devotion just applied to your family and at the time I was completely unaware that Joseph had passed. I went to get the devotion book so I could post the devotion for you and the devotion for today also caught my attention. I am going to include both of them for you and for Holly. You are in my prayers.

August 21
For All Time
Anyone who believes in me, even though he dies like anyone else, shall live again John 11:25

If you've ever had a grandpa, grandma, parent, sister, or brother who died, you know it hurst to have someone you love go away. But Jesus made us a wonderful promise. He said that when we believe in him, after we die, we will live again. We won't live on earth forever. But we will live in heaven with God for all time. And all those people who belived in Jesus and died before us will be there too, happy to see us again.

August 22
When you Feel Sad
Jesus wept. John 11:35

Jesus was God's Son, but he was also a person who felt a lot of the same feelings you feel. When his good friend Lazarus died, Jesus was very, very sad. He was so sad that he cried. Even though Jesus knew that Lazarus would be in heaven one day, he still missed his friend and felt bad. When you're sad, ask Jesus to be with you and comfort you. Remember; he knows just how you feel.

Margaret said...

Thank you for keeping us updated. We love you and continue to pray for you.

Anonymous said...

Gillian and Allen,
Joe and I will continue to pray for you and your family. Thank you for so beautifully sharing your heart on these pages. Your words are so encouraging to me as a mother. I praise God that he gave Joseph such an amazing covenant family and that life does not end here on Earth.
Wendy Hickman

Jody (atlanta) said...

You all continue to amaze mom and dad and christians.

Thanks for keeping us posted. Always praying and sending you love. See you Sunday. Love, Jody

Jody (atlanta) said...

Another one for me....

BIG HUGS....we cannot wait to hug you, Allen, Holly, family in person Sunday. Abigail, while going to bed, said she was going to play at PDK with Joseph in her 'dreams.' I hope you able to join them in spirit and get some sleep. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!! Sending prayers. Jody

Lisa said...

I live in Memphis and I was forwarded your blog. I read it today for the first time and I am so sorry for your loss. My grandmother told me that the hardest thing God calls us to do is to loose a child. It is the most pain one can experience. I will pray for you and your family. A song that comes to mind is I Will Praise You in this Storm. I know know you will miss him. The good news is that our lives on earth a so small and our lives in heaven are infinite. Love, Lisa

Anonymous said...

What a precious, kind, giving spirit the Lord bestowed on Joseph. I feel so blessed having known him. My heart is with you all and I love you, Lisa Brown

randibisme said...

I really wish I could be down there and celebrate Joseph's life with all of you. I will celebrate his life in my mind and heart all weekend and will remember him all my life. We are praying for you every day.
Randi Booth

Carrigan Family said...

We were on the road early, early this morning - in our rear view mirror was the most incredible sky/sunrise - through tears, all I could think was what a glorious morning Joseph was most certainly having - he's ALIVE and he's in is forever Home. I do praise Him for that - I also know that your reality is all too real - grief is real and knowing where your sweet boy is doesn't take that pain and hurt away. Our prayers will continue for your precious family.

Crafty Hoosier Gal said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you all the way from Texas. I can't imagine what you are going through, but God has given you the strength to make it this far, and He will help you through this terrible loss.

Kat said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I have no idea what you and your family must be going through, but I'm so sorry for you guys.

Craig and Gwen said...

We are coming up on Monday and I feel anxious to give ya'll a hug.

Much love - Gwen

Tricia said...

We have been praying for you continuously since November, and of course will continue to pray that you will know God's comforting presence in a real way now that Joseph is with Him. You will be in our thoughts all weekend. My special prayer for you right now is from Ephesians 3:17-18.

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."


Anonymous said...

There are no words to express regarding Joseph other than to say he is "Safe in the arms of Jesus".

Anonymous said...

I keep pulling up the picture of Joseph and remembering him the few times I got to see him. He was such a sweet boy, and we loved having him at Hannah's 4th birthday party when Mimi brought him and Holly. They sat at the little table and ate ice cream and cake. I cannot imagine the depth of your grief, but I do know where your strenth comes from. The Lord has given you a difficult journey, but He will be with you each step of the way. He will mourn with you and hold you up. He promised to never leave you, and He never will. Even if you feel abandoned He is there. Through the bad days and the easier ones, He is with you. And when you are tired of asking Him for anything since He seems to not listen, He is with you. I know these to be true. God loves you with the kind of love we don't even understand. My favorite verse says more than it's simple words: "Be still and know that I AM God."

Love, Penny

Anonymous said...

I went to school with Kathy in Memphis and have been keeping up through my twin sister in Nashville with your son's life.

I pray for the sure knowledge of God's Care and Peace during this time for your entire family.

Sincerely, Denise

Lisa Allen said...

Words fail. We are praying for you all. We miss you at Intown and we will miss sweet precious Joseph.
Bill, Lisa, and Tripp Allen

Michael and Jana said...

I am grieving alongside you.

Anonymous said...

We are Jimmy and Carolyn from Riverwood Church in Tuscaloosa. We never met little Joseph but we feel as if we knew him. May God keep you and give you peace. There are many in our church praying for you.

Becky Dietz said...

You don't know me, but I found your blog through a friend who asked us to pray for you. Just know I'm a fellow traveler who is praying. God bless you.

Jiggs said...

Ann and I are so very sorry that we'll not be able to be with you all in body on Sunday and again on Monday. Please know, however, that we'll both continue to be there with you in spirit and in love and in thought and in prayer. We'll rely on Will (and Lynn and Matt as well, of course, ... but Will really IS an especially good hugger) to deliver our hugs for us.

I know that this verse has already been posted in one of the previous comments to this post detailing your plans for the next Celebration of the Gifts God sent Joseph to give, and I apologize for my redundancy. It's just that this verse, in the context of Max Lucado's comments regarding it, was most helpful to me as I dealt (no, let me - in this note - be totally honest ... as I deal) with Chip's death. A dear friend who cares about me shared it with me then ... and I (for that same reason) share it with you now:

Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again.

John 11:25, NLT

Mourning is not disbelieving. Flooded eyes don't represent a faithless heart. A person can enter a cemetery Jesus-certain of life after death and still have a Twin Tower crater in the heart. Christ did. He wept, and he knew he was ten minutes from seeing a living Lazarus!

And his tears give you permission to shed your own.... So grieve, but don't grieve like those who don't know the rest of the story.

Everyday Blessings
by Max Lucado
Copyright 2005 UpWords, Inc.

With continued Love, and Prayers, from Kansas City ...

newmanfamily said...

I don't know if you remember me from Campus Crusade at UT but I saw your page from Emily Renner. I am so sorry for your terrible loss. I will certainly lift your family up in prayer.
Lori Casteel Newman

So Blessed said...

I am lifting all of you in prayer as you prepare for the services to honor the life of your precious little boy. Thank God for His incredible gift.

Claire said...

It was such a privilege to meet Joseph and your family at the Rally Across America lunch, and we were honored to be able to share his story. Everyone could see what a special bond he and Holly had, and it was such a blessing to see him running around just like any other kid. I will always remember how happy and healthy Joseph looked that day, and I pray that those kinds of memories fill your hearts and in the coming days and months.

Love and prayers,
Rally Kid Coordinator

Beth Ensminger said...

I don't know ya'll but ran across your blog when I was looking up something on Christ Community's website site. I am praying for ya'll and that you will truly feel held in the arms of our Savior during this time. I will be praying for ya'll during the time in which this are happening this Sunday.

Your sister in Christ,
Beth from Asheville, NC

Amy Spiker said...

"She's in so much pain, wish I could take it all away. She deserves a break, she is good. She's lost more than any one person should... God please hold her tonight. Take away the loneliness that she is left with. She is left with no other hope but you. They say you hold the world in your hands. Please hear my prayer now. Drop the world- hold her"... Gillian- can't sleep so I am sending the words of Warren Barfield that have been heavy on my heart for you the past two days. I am praying for God to drop the world and hold you tonight. I will continue this prayer tomorrow and Monday. May you feel His arms holding you.

FoxFamilyFive said...

Praying for your family. I happened across your blog from Nayt's. My daughter has been fighting a brain tumor since 4/22/04. She is entering hospice care this week. I can't imagine the pain you are in's just too much.

Praying for you from Oregon,
Angela Fox and Family

John and Sue Burch said...

Alan and Gillian, As God has held you in the past, He will hold you today and in the future. Thank you for ministering to us in sharing your story of struggle, faith, triumph and tears. We trust and pray that you will know more and more of His love and care for you in these days and future. As I picture Jesus holding Joseph now and Joseph singing, dancing, rejoicing and worshiping - "I Can Only Imagine"!!! John and Sue Burch

randibisme said...

I am keeping your family in prayer. I can't stop thinking about you all. I will be thinking and praying for Joseph's visitation tonight. Love you all.
Randi Booth and family

Kim Gravely said...

You all are in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.
The Gravely Family (Atlanta)

ANGELA Satterfield said...

Dear Allen and Gillian, My heart goes out to you and to Holly and to your parents and siblings. I understand the painful loss in my own way. It is coming up on one year since you graciously attended the sudden funeral of my mother. As I read down further, you wrote about the "painful mystery" of why God saves some and does not save others. It is a painful mystery. He answers many prayers, actually he answers all prayers; it is just that some work out the way we ask and others work out a different way- the way he says is best. Yes the pain is always there of the loss, and the loss of what the future could have and would have been, but you will be able to find joy in the other blessings God offers. He continues to be good to us in so many other ways. Your loss is immense. Heaven is forever, this life is not. You all have done a fabulous and outstanding job as parents. Thank you for sharing your burdens with us all. That is what the body of Christ does- share in each other's burdens and joys. Evan and I love you guys so much. From our internship days at Christ Community, I never would have imagined this as part of the path God chose for your marriage. You have done it so well. Well done faithful servants. Love, Angela

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say. My heart goes out to you at this time. I know you will miss Joseph so much. He had a wonderful smile. On Friday I had to take Janie to Children's Medical. I sat there and prayed for your family. I remembered being there in that same waiting room with you just before everything happened. Thank you for keeping us updated so we could pray. May God give you some rest and peace. - Jeff, Penny, and Janie Rogers

UKNat said...

Praying for you right now. Natalie

Esperanza said...

I am truly sorry for your lost. May God listen to all of our prayers and hold your angel Joseph close to him all the time. I know that would make you feel better if you could see it but believe me God is going to do it. I know you must be throug a terrible moment on the funeral... I am praying to God to make you strong and to understand his will. Your family is going to be in my prayers.
Esperanza Penaloza

Q's NEWS said...

Just wanted to let you know that you guys have been on my heart all day especially between 4 and 8. I just wanted you to know that I was praying for you and sending love your way.

Susan in WV

Anonymous said...

I am praying for your family. My heart is aching over your loss. I didnt know your sweet Joseph but I could see what a special gift he was...he certainly had the face of angel. I know there are no words or actions that can ease your pain or the hole left in your heart but please know so many people are praying for you and remembering your sweet baby boy's life.

amyoutlaw said...

I'm so very sorry for your great loss. Love and prayers from Houston,TX.


Lori Fulbright said...

As we studied our lesson in Sunday School this morning we used your family as an example of Hope. Romans 5:3-5 says,"And not only that,but we also rejoice in our afflictions,because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because Gods love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Your lives have been a perfect example of this. Where would we be without our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. I attend church with Vann and Norma. Norma called me about Joseph because of the connection I have with this kind of brain tumor. My brother had the same tumor removed 4 years ago. He was 39 yrs. old at the time with 3 children. So far his MRI every 3 months continues to remain clear. His doctors say he is a walking miracle. His relationship with Christ has grown steady. Where would we be without Jesus. I have prayed for you and will continue to pray for your family. What an amazing job you have done with your words these past months. Thank you for sharing them with us. Lori Fulbright

gwendomama said...

There are no words when a child dies. There are no words to comfort you, because it is just unfair and wrong.

I am sorry.

Anonymous said...

WE pray for you all to be comforted and to be blessed with a great peace through this time.
Michal Caldwell

MelissaGR said...

I have been following your story and praying for Joseph and your family since the day after you started this blog. I found it on a friend of a friend's blog page and was SO deeply saddened by your story. I also have a 3-year old, and it really hit home for me. I am SO incredibly sorry for your loss. I can only imagine what kind of pain this entire experience has brought you. I am SO happy though that you have found strenth, comfort and love from God the Father. I will continue to pray for your family that you will continue to find these things in Him.

Praying in Bellingham, WA,

The Morris Gang said...

Wide awake praying for you and your family, listening to the "Nanny nanny noo nah" song Joseph sang into his icecream cone, and crying. We'll be especially praying during the service in the morning.
You are loved, Jennifer

Anonymous said...

We are thinking of you and praying for you at this sad time and sorry that we are too far away to be with you but know that we are with you in spirit. Sending you our love, Catherine (Tighe) and family xxx

etrhodes said...

Please know that your family is being bathed in prayer. This is one thing that brought me some measure of peace when I lost my little girl. The other thing that I always try to remember is that God has faith in my faithfulness... as He does in yours! I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet boy.
Cincinnati, Ohio

Anonymous said...

Joseph's Dear Parents;
Thank you for sharing your son. I can not imagine the pain you must be feeling. May you find comfort in knowing so many people are praying for you. Joseph was special and will continue to be peoples thoughts and prayers.

God is with you
N.B. Canada

Courtney said...

Praying for you today especially and in the days, months, and years to come...

-Courtney S., Memphis

Anonymous said...

praying and thinking of you today and wishing we could be there.


UKNat said...

You are being lifted up in prayer today (Aug 25th) by me and many others. Natalie

Tina said...

Your story and your life has touched mine very deeply. Thank you.

I pray and know that God will give you the grace to walk through what is now and what is ahead. You are loved!

Anonymous said...

dear gillian,

i am so sorry for your loss and am sending all my love and prayers to you, sweet joseph and the rest of your family. you have been such a model of grace and poise -- i am inspired by your courage and strength.

much love,
katherine todd

Anonymous said...

My family and I attend Skyline in Jackson, TN. We have been praying for you and your family ever since we heard about Joseph from Karl. Your post the night Joseph died truly moved me. We will continue to pray for and your family. May God's hand cover you as your mourn for Joseph. We will all see him again soon with Jesus.

milehighmom said...

Just checked in after a few days of being gone....and the tears just flowed. Praying for you and your family. We're in CO now but used to live in TN right near you. Sorry we never got the chance to meet but I have followed your journey for a long time. May God give you peace and comfort in the coming days and weeks ahead.
- Melissa

Anonymous said...

I cannot even imagine what you are going through. I am so sorry. You are always in my prayers.
Natasha Sabnani

Heather & Harper said...

Our hearts are broken for you. We are praying for you. And we do rejoice in the hope of our loving Savior. "But as for me, I will always have hope. I will praise you more and more." Psalm 71:14
Love, Heather & Harper

Anonymous said...

Praying Louisville, KY.

Casey said...

To our Christian Family,
I just came across your blog the other day from a friend of mine. As I read what she wrote my eyes teared up in sorrow but with joy knowing he is being cradled by Jesus. I am sorry for your loss, but pray you will find peace in knowing your Sweet Joseph is playing, jumping, laughing, singing with God in Heaven. Thank you for sharing your life journey with everyone. May God keep blessing you and hold you during these times. Look to HIM always.
Christ Love,
The McBride Family in AZ

Anonymous said...

Your family is an inspiration. You are right to be proud of Joseph...few boys have touched so many lives in such a short time. He has changed my life forever and I will always be grateful for that. Please know that he will be missed by many. I cannot even imagine your pain. My heart is hurting and I only know him through the thoughts and stories you've shared. You are in my prayers. Midlothian, Va

Helen Weygandt said...

Joseph will always be remembered. I lost my best friend to lukemia when she was four. And I think of her often even now, when it was fifty years ago that we played together. Joseph will be remembered, too.

Anonymous said...

We sang this at church on Sunday and I couldn't help but think of your sweet family... "Sorrow vanquished, labor ended, Jordan passed!" Continuing to pray for you.

Art thou weary, art thou languid,
Art thou sore distress'd?
"Come to me," saith One, "and, coming,Be at rest."

Hath he marks to lead me to him,
If he be my Guide?
"In his feet and hands are wound-prints,And his side."

Is there diadem, as Monarch,
That his brow adorns?
"Yea, a crown, in very surety,
But of thorns."

If I find him, if I follow,
What his guerdon here?
"Many a sorrow, many a labor,
Many a tear."

If I still hold closely to him,
What hath he at last?
"Sorrow vanquished, labor ended,
Jordan passed."

If I ask him to receive me,
Will he say me nay?
"Not till earth and not till heaven
Pass away."

Finding, following, keeping, struggling,
Is he sure to bless?
"Saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs
Answer, 'Yes.'"

Anonymous said...

I hope you'll keep writing on your blog. You guys have been such an inspiration to so many of us. We long to continue to glimpse inside your soul and share in the memories of sweet Joseph. His funeral was so amazing. Truly, we are so blessed to know you.

Fern said...

I am so, so, incredibly sorry.

Mario DaSilva said...

We were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Joseph. Our hearts ached as we visited the blog today. We're so very sorry.

We have faith that God will comfort you and will bring you peace. Without doubt, God will provide you with his unbelievable peace, and will do so very soon.

We will continue to pray for you, and will do so everyday.

We offer you our deepest sympathy and love.


Mario, Kathy and James DaSilva

Jeremy said...

Thank you so much for your faith and continued love for our Father in this terrible time. As I have read over these entries today I have been very humbled and broken by the Godly example you have shown through this tragedy. I have instantly fallen in love with your family because of your love for your precious children and our precious God.

Jenny Wells said...

Just wanted you to know I am praying for your family! Jenny in Ohio

A Cincy Mama said...

I am so very sorry to hear of Joseph's passing. Praying for you here in Cincinnati.

suzebab said...

The sunset was beautiful last night, as we were watching, we were thinking of Joseph and Jesus painting it together...then we think Jesus said, "hey Joe watch this"...a huge, complete not a half rainbow filled the sky!!! It was beautiful!!! It was a Promise!!! As the rainbow went away the sunset seemed to be setting, then out of no where the sunset filled the sky again. Amazing!!!

loving and praying for you today,
Susan Babcock

Heather said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I pray God will comfort you and give you peace like only He can. I will keep your family in my prayers.

Angela said...

I stumbled across your blog today. I read every entry from the very beginning. I cannot begin to fathom the pain and grief that you are enduring. May you take comfort in the fact that the arms that welcomed your precious, little Joseph home are the same arms that are wrapped around your family now. You will be in my prayers for peace and understanding.

sharona said...

I just came upon your blog through someone else I read. I just want to say, my heart aches for you. I will keep your family and your brave son in my prayers.

So Blessed said...

Praying for all of you...