Sunday, November 6, 2011

The day we buried Brody

Brody M. Lukehart

Ford City

Brody Michael Lukehart, infant, died Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011, at Magee-Womens Hospital, Oakland. Survivors include parents, Adam Michael Lukehart and Tawnya Nicole Giardino Lukehart; maternal grandparents, Robert and Connie Giardino and John Leinweber; great-grandparents, Pam and William Smail, Vivian Giardino and Kathy Leinweber; paternal grandparents, Randy and Jacque Lukehart; great-grandparents, Bob and Sue Stitt and Merle and Peg Lukehart; also survived by a number of uncles, aunts and other relatives. He was preceded in death by grandmother, Mary Sue Stitt Lukehart. Private funeral service will be held. Interment in South Bend Cemetery. Arrangements by MANTINI FUNERAL HOME INC., Ford City.

This was Brody's obituary. I dreaded writing it, I feared it was going to be the worst thing I had ever done aside from actually burying him. I was very surprised about how simple it was. I didn't cry. I didn't cry too horribly much that week. I was still in shock. I can actually recall every tear I shed that week. 
The days leading up to the burial are a blur. It was like one long day. I actually slept quite well, it was a safe place for me to be...Asleep, where ironically, I could get away from the nightmare that I was living.
I called my mom because I had the idea that I wanted everyone to hold a flower during the ceremony and then place it on his casket. I had never seen a casket that small before, they shouldn't have to make them that small. I wanted the perfect flower. My mom suggested a rose. "But what color?", I asked. She suggested red but thought the meaning of a red rose was love but a passionate love. "No, I don't want a red one", I said. "What does white mean?" When she read me what it meant, I knew it would be perfect. 
 Purity, Innocence, Silence, Secrecy, Reverence,Humility, Youthfulness, "I am worthy of you", Heavenly. Brody was so pure and so innocent. He never sinned and he never had to live in a world full of sin. He was heavenly for sure. 
The morning of the burial, I took a warm bath. I was still recovering physically so Adam helped. If there was a fly on the wall that day, he would have been in tears. I was helpless. I felt like an infant myself.  I watched as drops of milk hit the water and sobbed thinking about how much I wanted to breast feed. I had just given birth so everything felt different and yet I had no baby. The pain just reminded me that he wasn't there.
I have no memory of the drive to the cemetary. I actually don't even remember arriving. 
The pastor started talking and everyone was sobbing. Adam held me close as I gripped the white rose. I remember looking around at everyone with tears streaming down their faces and feeling like I wanted to make them feel better. I wanted to hug them and tell them it was okay. I wondered why I wasn't crying with them. My son was being put into the ground and I had no tears. It was so hot that day, the sun was shining bright. It must be why sunny days are the worst for me now. I never seem to cry when it rains.
I cried twice while we were there. Once when my sister walked up to the casket, put her rose on top and kneel down doing the sign of the cross and another when I seen Adam and his brother kneel beside their mother's grave together. Those two images will remain etched in my mind forever.

 When all was said and done,the pastor handed me this cross and from that instant I knew my relationship with God would be very different than it had ever been before.


  1. I find myself constantly wanting to say "I'm so sorry". I guess because when I read things so personal that someone like myself has never lived through they are truly heartbreaking. Things I never thought about. I wish I could hug you and make you feel better for just a minute. Take the pain away and fill your emptiness with happiness. I can't even say we know each other well enough for me to even be making this comment but I hope we become closer friends and I can help you heal in some way.

  2. Tia- Everbody's heart ached that day. The image of Ben and Adam knealing down beside their mom is forever etched in my mind an heart. In a way I felt comforted knowing Brody went "home" to be wth Grandma and God! If he can't be with you, loving parents, then this is his safe place! I'm sure there are many plans in store for him as an angel and he has only just begun by giving you the strength to help others. This is what I love about you... no mater how sad or upset you always want to make others feel better! You are truely amazing!!!