Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Funeral For Real

Today we are living a first: Jo Ann and I have never woken up on the morning of our son's funeral. Grady has never woken up on the morning of his brother's funeral. But here we are. Pablo's funeral starts in five hours. This is really happening. Today is Pablo's funeral for real.

We are ready to be in a room again with our little boy. OH, WE CAN'T WAIT TO SEE PABLO! We are ready to honor Pablo. To celebrate Pablo. To share Pablo—with ourselves, with you—one final time as we begin to really let go of him. To dignify Pablo's physical body with a contemplative and soul-searching service that will end with his burial. This is the final step in the physical human experience. This is how we dignify the passing of a soul, and give it our blessing to move on fully and completely, back to God, back to Nature, back to the Universe.

Last night's Pablo Memorial shook our souls. The hundreds of friends and family we embraced last night confirmed that the soul shaking was felt throughout the room. We thank you for bringing your heavy hearts, your confusion, your anger, your laughter, your tears, your wonder, and most of all, your MEMORIES OF PABLO! Even if you didn't get a chance to speak your Pablo memories on stage, or to us, we received through our hearts. Trust that we did.

And, remember what I requested last night: When you see us out and about in the coming days, months, years, PRESENT PABLO! We need your P LOVE! This will keep Pablo's spirit and his life's message alive and with us forever.

We'll see you in a few hours at Forest Lawn.

In love,

Jeff, Jo Ann and Grady


Lisa said...

thank you jeff jo ann grady and pablo for sharing so much love with all of us.

Anonymous said...

love, love, love...
xo, rb

Jen Berry said...

i hope that i can see you out in public so i can give you a big pablo smile, laugh and hug

Alberta Art Classes said...

Love, love, love to you. Nakula is very ill and preventing us from attending. Please know how much we all think of you and love you. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing Pablo's life with us. I think you guys are amazing people. Great parents and a wonderful brother. It was a beautiful service. I would love to talk about Pablo when I get a chance soon. He was a very gifted child. He knew how to touch everyones heart in a special way.
We will miss you Pablo.
Love, Nevrik and the Gevrikyan Family

Binkytowne said...

Jeff, we never met but I was a friend of Dean's. I'm so truly sorry for your loss, but I am celebrating Pablo with you and your family in spirit.

Wishing you peace and comfort.

Anonymous said...

Love, hugs and wonderful memories of Pablo are filling the Windy City. I so wish I could be there with you, but know Pablo is in our hearts right now and we will keep him and all of you there.
Love, Dolly and family

Doula Yourself said...

you don't know us. my daughter is friends with tennessee. i have been following your blog since last friday night. my daughters and i lit a candle last night at 5:30 and i told them that this was for a little boy that we don't know but we will honor with light and by saying his name out loud. PABLO!

wishing you love today and everyday as you move forward.

Lisa Hickey said...

Sometimes I find myself wondering if it's strange to be so broken hearted over the passing of a little boy I didn't know. Then I remember that we are all interconnected; brothers and sisters; family in this big, unexplainable universe. Then I realize: Why wouldn't I be?

I'm not the perfect parent. My boys challenge my patience and sanity daily, sometimes hourly, sometimes by the second. Just know, that it will be in those times, that I will call on the gentleness in spirit of Pablo to guide me through. That will be often. Trust me! : ) Today, my love, thoughts and heart will be with your family.

Charlotte said...

Last nights service was beautiful. I feel that we honored Pablo perfectly. You guys are beautiful people. P-man is proud of all of you. Thank you for sharing with us.

Sara Lov said...

Was so moved by last nights service that I dreamt of all of you last night, all night. Thank you for sharing yourselves and your experience so beautifuly. we are all there with you.
Love, love, love.

Marisa Schwartz said...

I've been holding your family in my thoughts for days. Especially this morning. I've got a beautiful candle lit in my house for Pablo today.

Anonymous said...

i have only briefly met your family, but have been a faithful follower of Pablog for quite some time. my cousin and i were hesitant to go to the service last night seeing as how we do not know you really at all, but i can say that we have fallen in love with your family through this journey that you have shared with us and Pablo's spirit has touched us in such a profound way and so we decided to go...

and i am so happy that we did, last night was one of the most incredible experiences that i have ever had. from the beating of the drums to heartfelt songs by amazing musicians to the beautiful stories that each and every speaker told. the images that were shared at the end will be with me forever...i laughed and i cried and i took in all of the love and light and energy of Pablo that was in that room.

thank you for giving me that gift, for giving everyone who was there that gift. this is only the beginning of the CELEBRATION of P's life!

i still spend that 3 minutes a day that you asked for a while back in prayer for you and your family and friends and in celebration of an incredible little boy named Pablo who has touched me in a way that i am changed forever!

my thoughts and prayers will be with you today as you lay P's body to rest.


Anonymous said...

last night was so beautiful...thank you so much for that. before we left the house to go miles was so "furious" and he felt "stupid" were some of the words he used. he did NOT want to see people being sad about Pablo. he was angry any time i cried. he had no way to deal with all that he was feeling. so i thought ok, i'll take him to camp he doesn't have to go to the service today. but when he woke up, he said he wanted to go to the "graveyard" and be with pablo. he wrote this letter that says, "WULEV EN CALFONU ANWUSH B KIND PABLO" translates we live in california and we should be kind pablo. he has been doing GERANAMO jumps off every piece of furniture. pablo once again being the great friend/teacher. i always wished for a little "pabby" to rub off onto miles and i think he actually has... at least for today. so much love. carrie

Anonymous said...

Wanted you to know that "Path of Compassion for The Deceased" special prayers for Pablo being recited for 49 days by monks of Buddhist Temple in Toronto. Sorry to miss memorial, but I will keep it happening in my heart.
xxxx sharon

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing Pablo with us. I never met Pablo, but his life and spirit has touched me deeply

I wish you peace and comfort.

clare crespo said...

jo ann, remember those tissues pablo liked? the ones with the bunny and seal faces on them from little tokyo? i am bringing those today. see you soon. LOVE,clare

Dawn: said...

Last night was literally one of the most profound experiences of my life. I'm with you in spirit today. All my love.

Anonymous said...

We are thinking and praying for your family on this special day.

Molly and Laney Böttcher
(Wilm's family)

Anonymous said...

we have never meet but jb ask us to surpport her for the charity when she done the trianthlone last year i read your blog every day i hope you are all strong for each other on this day we will all cotinue to raise funds for chla hospital

Anonymous said...

We are with you in spirit and sending all the love and light your way for this most difficult day. Give P hugs and kisses from us. Although we never met him, we love him.

Anonymous said...

Remember's not goodbye, it's till we meet again. Pablo is love.

chad said...

I'm so sorry this day has come and for your family having to endure this very "real" experience. Your willingness to share these experiences with us in such an open, honest way is inspiring. You have an amazing family and it is easy to see why Pablo has had such a positive influence on so many people. I'm convinced Pablo is greatful for such a wonderful family that will continue to carry on his legacy of love. You guys are amazing and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Jules said...

My heart and thoughts have been with Pablo all day. I'm thinking of him in the small things too. When I felt pain running - I ran harder and longer when I thought of all Pablo had endured (endured with a smile on his face, nonetheless!). Thank you all for sharing this journey with us and please continue to. Pablo will always be alive in our hearts and minds and watching down on us all.

SteveAudio said...

Not only was the service last night wonderful, but you all, and especially you, Jeff, honor Pablo with your writing. You have a gift with words, that not only makes your love and pain apparent, but makes P's joy, life, love, and specialness apparent.

Keep writing, please. It will do your heart good, and will keep P alive for us.

SurlyGirl said...

We've never met and probably never will. I found your blog while blog surfing. Thank you for sharing Pablo with us. My heart breaks for a little boy I never knew until he was gone. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Maria said...

I have been hearing from everyone that the memorial was such an amazing celebration of Pablo's life. The love in your family is truly a great and beautiful force. Thinking of you all today with prayers and love. . . .

Linda said...

Sending all our love to Pablo, Jeff, Jo Ann and Grady. What a beautiful spirit.
Love and Blessings,
Linda grandma to Mickenzie

bella said...

sending my love and prayers to you
i am sad i was unable to share your p-love memorial with you
it sounded perfectly fitting and beautiful
i hope i see you soon
big love



Anonymous said...

The only real thing is LOVE. Thank you all, for your gifts of LOVE, and for sharing it all with so many of us. Look at the gifts Pablo keeps sharing.....Carolyn, Jasper, and Rosie.

Jen said...

I am so upset not to be there today. I am thinking of you and I know that what has taken place in Pablo's honor was profound and beautiful. You are in the hearts of hundreds right now.

Love Jen Rhodes

Anonymous said...

A candle was lit at St. Patrick's Cathedral today for Pablo.

love and peace to you.

Anonymous said...

Candles were lit in honor of P this aft @ St. Alphonsus church, Greendale WI. LOVE to all of you on this sad day of celebration. P is with Uncle Scott now. Who better?

xo angela & fam (mke)

Anonymous said...

Jeff, Jo Ann and Grady –

We just came across the pablog link and our hearts just sank. We had the pleasure of sharing a home with your family on Lake Winnipesaukee at Pete & Brie’s wedding. Even at just 3 years old Pablo filled that house with life, laughter and love. What an amazing child – our hearts break for you. We will forever remember Pablo, the beautiful little boy with the curls and smile in his eyes. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with you.

With Love,
Darren, Katie, Maggie & Joshua Francek

jeff suhy said...

Jeff, Jo, Grady and PABLO! have changed our lives with your open hearts and passion for each other. We have been in awe of your strength and by sharing your pain and your search for meaning through this unfathomable have taught us all about the true meaning of love. We love and admire you. in peace. You are in our hearts little dude.

Anonymous said...

Sending love and prayers your way, Jeff, Jo Ann and Grady. Especially this night. Rest with Pablo's love and know that love and light are coming to you from all over the planet this evening.

a mother

Anonymous said...

Not ever gone
Just moved on

Wishing you comfort
At this sorrowful time!

Love, peace and blessings to you,
Heike, Isbjorn & Skadie

Anonymous said...

Our family continues to keep you in our prayers, wishing you all strength and clarity, light and most of all love as you proceed on your journey with your little Pablo. Our hearts are full..... the kavanaugh's

Anonymous said...

I never had the blessing of meeting Pablo, but know how proud Pat & Harry are to have him in their life. Following PABLOg! has brought tears, laughter (looking at that amazing smile), and inspiration that I could not have gained from anyone else. We are thinking about all of you as you celebrate Pablo's life.
Amanda Bass
Houston, TX

Maurice said...

Grady, what an impressive young man, you did not need an early education on how tough life can be but Pablo will help you and be there for you throughout your life! Jo Ann what a mother, we can all see the strong foundation you laid out in the kids! And Jeff I was so privileged to have been part of the service yesterday and more so of shaking your hand and saying "you don't know me but.." After the service I had to run home, share the love with my family and tell them about Pablo and get on my bike, wear the velo clothing and ride up that hill behind the cemetary that Pablo loved. I got to the curve with the view of Pablo's beautiful resting place and prayed, cried, thought of you and reassured Pablo that each time I pass that curve I will pray and tell him to be happy, not to be scared.

That road should be renamed "PABLO's WAY'!! Also just a thought, when my brother was sick with cancer at the hospital I made a nice book of all the blog comments and gave to the close family members......

Anyway thank you for allowing us all to share and I hope to ride with you soon at Velo in memory of and with Pablo.

Be strong.


Kerry Zeka in Oklahoma said...

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to leave a mind, heart and soul have been swimming in confusion still trying to absorb what has happened! Needless to say, I am still in shock and my mind is just now processing how this all happened is such a short period of time. I am beyond sad. I am beyond hurt and devasted. But through the tears I still smile. I spent some time looking back at all the photos taken and posted on this blog after its initial birth. In so many of the smiles and facial expressions of Pablo with his beautiful bald little head, I saw glimpses of my daughter Sicily. So now when she looks at me a certain way and gives me a special smile, I will also see Pablo. At least a couple of people in Oklahoma will never forget this incredible human being who once graced the earth with his presence. In April, Sicily and I attended the funeral of a six-year-old little girl who we became very fond of while being treated inpatient together at our local Children's Hospital. On the back of the program from the funeral was typed this sweet poem. It's the only way I can make heads or tails or sense out of why a child would ever have to have a funeral of their own. I wanted to share it with you in hopes it may provide even the tiniest glimer of peace! It's written by Edgar A. Guest.
A Child Loaned
"I'll lend you for a little time
A child fo Mine," He said,
"For you to love while he lives
and mourn for when he's dead.
It may be six or seven years
Or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back,
Take care of him for me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you,
And should his stay be brief,
You'll have his lovely memories
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from Earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn.
I've looked this wide world over
In my search for teachers true,
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
I have selected you;
Now will you give him all your love,
Not think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call
And take him back again?
I fancied that I heard them say,
"Dear Lord, Thy will be done,
For all the joy Thy child shall bring,
The risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness, We'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay
But should the angels call for him
Much sooner than we planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes
And try to understand."

Though you as parents, Jeff and JoAnn, gave Pablo life through birth...he, in a sense, gave you life, as well. And to the rest of us who were fortunate enough to share and observe his life from a distance through the wonders of a computer screen! Because of Pablo, we can appreciate life, laugh at life and enjoy life so much more than if we had never known about him. I can perfectly visualize him in heaven right now...he is an Angel! And I will dissolve the misconception that all Angels where white feathered wings and marabou hallows...some are dressed in black and white striped shirts and bicycle helmet clad heads! And when they smile, they proudly show their missing teeth! ; ) That is my vision! I will continue to lift you all up in prayer, now and forever more! And thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us on this journey. You've been a big help!

All our love,
Sicily and her mommy, Kerry
and the rest of the Zeka clan!

jessica brooke said...

you were all in my dreams last night, in laughter and joy. thank you for sharing Pablo's love with us all yesterday.I am forever grateful.
love, jess

Roy Ashen said...

Sending love and light to Pablo on his journey and to your whole family for the path ahead. We don't know each other but have mutual friends. I lost my son shortly after his birth a few months ago and admire your strength and loving connection with your beautiful boy.