Tonight we had a funeral in the backyard. My husband read Matthew 10-:29-31 and I said a short prayer. My youngest daughter Timber sang a song she wrote for the occasion.
We found out you fell out of your nest.
And now we lay you down to rest.
Why, why, why did you have to die.
It makes me want to cry.
And I am mad that I will never see you fly.
Now you are in the bird house in the sky.
It makes me want to cry.
Why, Why, Why
Timber found the egg on the front porch several days ago. It was next to the house, by the front door. There was a small triangular-shaped hole in the egg. Through the hole in the eggshell you can see a dried yellow egg yolk inside. A bird had built its nest behind the shutters right beside the front door. Every time we opened the door the bird flew away. I think the bird abandoned the nest, and poked holes in the egg. The wind blew the egg out of the nest.
Today Timber and I went to the Thrift Store to look for a Father’s Day present. She wanted to find something special for him. While we were looking she found a delicate blue box. The lid was carved with flowers.
“Mama, this would make a perfect coffin for the egg.”
We hadn’t buried the egg yet. We were waiting for her sister to come home from a friend’s house for the ceremony. She was going to use a white plastic retainer case as a coffin. The blue container seemed perfect for the little blue egg. Something beautiful and precious. A container too pretty to put in the ground. A container too pretty to cover in dirt was the perfect container to value the little life that was lost.
I stood in the check out line at the thrift store with my daughter. She placed the blue coffin and something for her father on the counter. (Her father may read this before tomorrow , so I will not say what she bought him.) She pulled a handful of change out of her pocket and placed in on the counter. She counted out three dollars and eighteen cents and paid for her purchase. While she was counting out her change, I told the check out lady that the delicate blue box was a coffin for a little birds egg she had found. The man standing behind her in line, waiting to pay for his picture frames, pulled a five dollar bill out of his pocket and offered to pay for the little coffin. The check out lady returned the change to my daughter and she took the five dollar bill from the man, after I said it was okay for him to pay.
I let the man be kind. I allowed him to be generous. A dollar and eighty-two cents in change was handed to my daughter – she immediately gave it to the man. She thanked him and he said, “Pay it forward.”
My daughter painted a little stone to use as a grave marker. My daughter drew a little picture of the egg and placed it in a small 3×5 frame to place by the coffin. She took the lid off of the little blue box so we could see the broken egg during the reading from the bible. She wanted the casket to be open during the ceremony.
After the reading of scripture, we all took a small handful of dirt and placed it on the coffin at the bottom of the hole. The hole was filled in. The grave marker was placed in the ground. After the ceremony was over and we had gone back to the house. Timber went back to the gravesite alone. I could hear her singing her song to the egg from the house.
The bird’s egg is buried next to the headstone of the dead mouse my daughter buried last week. Our cat brought the dead mouse home and left it on the front porch.
When I tucked Timber into bed tonight, before I sang her Jesus Loves Me, she said,” I have my own cemetery.”
A Mouse, and a Bird’s Egg.
My daughter mourns the loss of the mouse and the bird that never got to fly. I would have thrown the mouse in the trash. I would have thrown the bird’s egg in the trash.
I am thankful for the little cemetery beside our house. I will keep the grass trimmed around the gravestones. Tomorrow we will plant flowers at the gravesite. Life is valuable.