Friday, August 16, 2013

Weeping O'er the Grave

As usual, words fail me.
On July 26, 2013, we lit candles for a little boy who died.


None of us had ever seen him.  We didn't know why he had died.  We didn't know exactly when he had died. We don't even know where he is buried. 
Yet all across the country and into the far reaches of this globe - candles were lit for one little boy.
In Canada, a service took place.  A Mass. 

All for one little Lost Boy who lived in a mental institute in a village out in the middle of nowhere.

200 people showed up to that Mass.  From politicians to Bishops to common folk.

They were invited to come by a very special man who lives in their community.  Most of them had no idea who had died.  They came out of love and affection for one of their own.  They sat in a service wondering, waiting.  There wasn't a coffin.  There wasn't a gravesite. 

The special man who invited them, "A", greeted each of them dressed in a tuxedo.  Hanson deserved the very best.

The church was adorned by flowers cut from parishioner's different gardens.  The flowers filled the church for a little boy who probably never ever had the privilege of picking one in his entire dreary life.

Bells were rung at three different churches.  Not once.  Not twice.  100 times the bells were rung.  Slowly.  For thirty minutes before the service.  As people gathered and as they sat and waited they could hear the bells ringing.  100 rings for a child who probably never heard a church bell in all his days alive. 

The Mass was from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer for the Funeral of a Child.

"A" stood up and delivered his eulogy.

He wrote it himself.  Those in attendance listened as "A" explained who had died.  His eulogy was written on Powerpoint so everyone could read along as he read.  Halfway through he broke down and wept and could only point to the words.   Inside that church, people began to weep along with him.

"Thank you for coming to Hanson's funeral.  He was my friend but I never met him. He lived in Ukr*ne.  I don't even know when he died.  He lived in an orphanage.  Sometimes parents can't take care of their kids and they have to go away.  Hanson went away.  I would have gone away too if I lived in there. People forgot him. Maybe they were scared. Hanson was just a little boy.  He died in a bed not important. Today, I remember him. He is not lost boy anymore. 

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, Amen."

Then Rob's eulogy was read.

And eyes were opened.  And hearts were pierced. 
Afterwards the children came.

Candles were lit. 
  The youngest children lit the candles of love and hope.  
The blue candles for new beginnings were lit by two girls who had been adopted. 
The purple candles of waiting were lit by the older children. 

The final white candles were lit by "A", who carefully and patiently lit each of them...although his hands were shaking and he was crying so hard. 

All the children were clustered around him, helping him and quietly praying. 

The children then sang together, "God Sees the Little Sparrow Fall". 

Those who came were completely overcome.  200 people wept openly for one little boy.

Hymns were sung by a 22 member choir and organist:

Bogoritsde Devo
The Lamb by Tavener
Een So Lord Jesus Quickly Come
Abide with Me

"A" made sure that a sign language interpreter was there for the Deaf parishioners and some of his friends.  Some of the blessing were also done by the priest from the R Orthodox Church. 
 The service ended with "Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones."  It is "A's" favorite.  He gave instructions to the organist to play as loudly as possible, as he wanted to make sure Heaven could hear.  He wanted Hanson to know how loved he was.
The final anthem was sung by the choir as they lead in procession around the church, with incense. All the ministers following. 

   It was sung in Ukr*ine and English as the choir processed around...and then down the middle of the church and out the front doors. 
"Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant with thy saints:
where sorrow and pain are no more;
neither sighing but life everlasting.
Thou only art immortal, the creator and maker of man:
and we are mortal formed from the dust of the earth,
and unto earth shall we return:
for so thou didst ordain,
when thou created me saying:
 "Dust thou art und unto dust shalt thou return."
All we go down to the dust;
and weeping o'er the grave we make our song:  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."

Afterward they ate sandwiches, egg salad and cucumber, as it isn't a proper funeral without sandwiches!

All for one little boy.

One little, no longer Lost Boy.

Hundreds gathered in a church and openly wept over him.

Hundreds more lit candles in his memory.

For one little child.

....and weeping o'er the grave we make our song:  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."

"A" wanted to leave a message to everyone reading this blog. 

Listen well my friends. 

Listen well.
"BLESSED are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Lots came. Hanson not a Lost Boy. Some day we see him.  Okay, now to help more Lost Boys. More soup.  Bye. "A"

Amen and Amen.



  1. A. will have more treasures in heaven to cast at Christ's feet than the many, many Christians who live their lives daily for themselves. Thank you for letting us share a tiny bit in his tribute.

  2. So amazing! If only we could do that for every little child who dies forgotten alone in the middle of nowhere... Thanks for seeing Hanson! Thanks for celebrating him and his life! What you did touched my heart profondly... Thanks!!! May God bless you... <3

  3. What a special man to arrange a service fit for a king. In his sort life Hanson has touched many and I pray because of A's love for Hanson that eyes will be opened to the plight of the orphan. Beautiful post, Julia.

  4. A is a wonderful young man with a beautiful heart! I hope my children grow up to be like him. The world would be a better place if everyone was like A. I just love him! Thank you A. :)

  5. What a fabulous tribute to a little boy who unknowingly touched so many lives. Thank you, "A", for seeing that little boy and giving him the celebration he deserved.

  6. Amazing love right here. Blessed by the love 'A' had for one little boy. What a huge heart God has given him.

  7. I remember just sobbing on that day, just at random times. This is an awesome entry and I just pray - PLEASE LORD will people step out in faith! So grateful for hanson's life.

  8. Beautiful! Well done A. Thank you for caring about Hanson. And how wonderful that we will get to greet Hanson and you too, if not before, then in Heaven.

  9. It's wonderful what was done. Thank you for sharing the details so eloquently.

    My hope is more that the eyes of the 200 and all of us were opened to what can be done now to help children like Hanson still living, who have a chance at a better life if we do SOMETHING. Less talk and regret and more action.

    As you've pointed out, several of the boys here are at the same place as Hanson was existing (I hesitate to say living):


  10. Blessed are those whose lives have been touched by Hanson, all the "Lost Boys", their Advocates and now "A".
    I have cried so many tears for the lost boys and hugged my own children all the more tightly, for it could have been them. For all those children, and adults that wait around the world, with no one next to you, holding you, whispering love to you ......... you are loved.

  11. beautiful!! What a precious heart "A" has. He makes me long even more to bring our little guy home! Hopefully not much longer!

  12. Thank You A for giving him the recognition and personhood in death that he was not afforded in life.His life was as valuable as any child who has ever been born. So many wooden crosses stuck in the earth with a nameless child's body resting beneath it, but for the people who were there that night, they, as well as we, will never forget this fragile child who laid waiting for rescue. I hope these people are moved to action.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!