The Day I Buried My Family
by Tai Ikomi
THE DAY OF the funeral finally came. It was Tuesday, the eighth of April… 1986, another day that was to remain indelible in my memory.
I woke up and the memory of the accident flashed through my mind. I was numb. I was not exactly sure how to welcome this event that must unfold before the end of the day. It was now a week since the terrible accident had claimed the lives of my husband and our three precious children. A drunk driver had hit us from the rear, killing all of them. I was the only survivor. The agony of watching them die was almost unbearable.
Today, I was going go bury my loved ones. Indeed, this same day I had to watch their casket being lowered into the grave. They had gone to the other world, beyond my touch, beyond my sight, beyond my reach; but not beyond my love. Oh, the agony of that moment!
Why, oh why did they have to die?
I remained calm. I knelt by my bed and praised God for the day. Next, I went to see my sister in another room. She suggested we sing aloud the praises of God. For a moment I hesitated. How could I raise my voice and sing on such a day as this – the day I was going to bury my family? I was not too sure such singing was appropriate for the day.
Nevertheless, I decided to go ahead with her suggestion for two reasons. One, my twin sister loves me. If she suggested that we sing, it must be okay for I was, by this time, an emotional wreck. I could not think for myself. Secondly, I reasoned that there could be no harm in praising God. Singing to God could not make the situation worse. So I decided to praise God on the morning of the day I was to see the casket of my husband and three children lowered into the grave.
We were on the second or third song when something happened inside of me. For the first time since their departure, I felt united with my departed loved ones. It was a feeling of closeness that is difficult to define or express. I had a vision where I found myself in heaven praising God. To my right, I saw my family also praising the same God.
My family was singing God’s praises in heaven, while I was engaged in the same worship down below. We had the same Object of praise. We were praising the same Creator. Distance was no barrier as our hearts melted into one in gratitude to the One who has made us partakers of eternal life. At that moment I experienced the power inherent in praising the Almighty God!
It was an experience that has stayed with me. I am most indebted to the Lord of Glory who compassed me with such strength. Now I can truly say “Thank You, Jesus, for taking care of me and of my family yonder. I have no adequate means of praising You, but this one life that I have shall be spent in Your service.
In Your mercy and faithfulness, show me the path that leads to Your perfect will and I will walk in it. With my whole being and all that I have, will I praise You and exalt Your wonderful name”
What assurance we have in Christ! My consolation resided in the hope of eternal life with Jesus. Thank God, Johnny, my husband was a Christian here on earth. He had surrendered his life to Christ and lived for Him, and now he had become a permanent resident of heaven!
Temple, our eldest son, had accepted Christ into his heart when he was four and a half. He was so young then, but he had expressed his desire to give his life to Jesus. Together,
Johnny and I had led him to Christ. He was confident Christ had honored his request and had come into his heart.
The following morning, Temple looked at his stomach, then at us and said “Mummy, Daddy, my tummy is so big because Jesus came into my heart yesterday.” Johnny explained to him that Jesus came into his heart and not his stomach. We all laughed about it.
Temple was an avid reader. He read anything he could lay his hands on. Instead, I inundated him with children’s Bible stories. However, six weeks before the accident I allowed him to read the Bible.
It was like throwing meat to a hungry lion. From then on, Temple buried himself in the Bible. Anywhere he went, he took his Bible with him. Even on the day we traveled, he carried it. By this time he was halfway through the Bible. He had tough questions. Once he asked if certain characters would be in heaven. A few days after he had gone to be with the Lord, the Lord told me He was preparing Temple for heaven through the Word.
Now, his eyes can behold what he had been reading. All the questions he was asking his father and me he can now direct to the One who has perfect knowledge of all things. What a wonderful moment for my son!
The twins were not old enough to understand or experience the new birth. They were only two years old. They did, however, know the name of Jesus. I used to teach them numbers using the name of Jesus, which they repeated after me. For example, I would say “One, Jesus is Lord. Two, Jesus is Christ. Three, Praise the Lord.” Little did I realize how close they were to seeing the same Lord face to face and praising Him.
Praise, forgiveness and meditating on the Word of have have been my chief tools of inner healing.
Dr. Tai Ikomi lost her husband and 3 children to a drunk driver in Missouri. She preaches and conducts seminars on forgiveness as the ground, not only of our own forgiveness but as a means of emotional and mental healing. She has authored over 25 books.
Dr. Tai Ikomi