Thursday, December 30, 2010

Carrisa's Service

I have yet to talk about Carrisa's memorial service. I like the word memorial, it is so much better than funeral, memorial is remembering and celebrating! Carrisa's memorial was truly a Celebration of life!

The week prior to her service was a side of loss I had never seen. I mean, I have been through loss with my father and brother and Fran, but you don't see all of the planning and expense that goes into someone passing. When we went to the funeral home I think my mom knew how to handle things more than the funeral director helping us.....

We spent the week planning, planning what her service would look like, meeting with pastors, going to the funeral home, going through papers, writing an obituary (which mom did), some really not so fun stuff. I don't think I really slept much or even had anything to eat the whole week, I just didn't fee like it. I needed to help, actually having a task, something to do, some how helped me through the week. I made Carrisa's memorial video (as many of you have seen). The funeral home was going to do it, but somehow that just didn't feel right, they didn't really know her and how special she was, how could they make a video truly honoring her, so I did it. I think I sent my husband to Walgreens a least 5 times to scan old photos to put on a cd, he probably spent hours there, and I love him for doing the little things like that!

Making the video really helped me, just doing something for her, remembering her, laughing and crying at photos of her. Carrisa was truly a light..... Ahhhh, sometimes I still can't believe I am writing this, is she really gone?

The night before her service my sister Danae and I went to one of Carrisa's good friends house, Carla. Many of Carrisa's friends had gotten together to make the programs for her service, they didn't want the cheesy funeral home programs, they had to be Carrisa style. Being with her good friends was what I needed, and I think it was good for Danae too. It was so fun to get a closer glimpse of her life, what it was like with her friends, it almost felt like she was there.

There were so many people at her service, I wish Carrisa could have seen. You see, Carrisa looked up to her older brother Darren, soooo much! She saw his life, his legacy and how his memorial service was so life changing for many people because of who he was and how much he loved Christ until his dying day. In Carrisa's last blog post (found here) she talked about how when she grew up she wanted to be just like Darren...................the thing is, she was. I think her service in many ways was just as touching if not more touching than Darren's.

Many people, including my mom and Carrisa's best friend Lyndsey spoke (read here), Each person brought a new light about Carrisa; her positive attitude, her determination, the way she never spoke bad about others, her love for Norah, he excellence as a mother, how hard she worked at the bank, her contagious smile, her laugh, and her love for Christ. Writing this doesn't do one ounce of justice.

After the service we had a reception, if you were someone passing by you would have never guessed it was a memorial service. The room was decorated with cupcakes, polk-a-dots, pink flowers, and everything Carrisa!

My Grandma writing in a book for Norah to help remember fun memories of Carrisa, many people wrote in this book

My best friend Sarah even made gluten free cupcakes in honor of Carrisa (who couldn't have gluten). I loved that Sarah made cupcakes for Carrisa, that she wanted to help in someway, it really meant so much! A few of my friends were at the service, some of them from high school. It really touched my heart so much to have a few friends there for support, I hope they know how it really blessed me

We tried to get a family photo, this is about the best we could do....

Siblings with Grandma, just us 4 now

Gosh, there is so much more about the service, and still it doesn't even give a glimpse of Carrisa. What is most important is that her legacy is not over, her new life, with Christ, has just begun.


  1. Thank you Jenni, for recounting the preparation for the service. We would have been there if possible. Continue to hold you and your family in prayer. We have this hope of seeing those we love again, Praise the Lord.

  2. Jenni, My heart goes out to you and your family! We have never met but I am Tim and Travis's stepmom. I too lost my sister 10 days before my husband's tragic death. I know how such a loss can cause such pain, both emotionally and physically. You sound like a very strong and compassionate young woman. You and your family will be in my prayers. God Bless!

  3. Blessings to you Jenni...this account is a loving tribute to Carrisa, your family & those who can only wonder how they too can live a life that matters.
    Carrisa knew the secret of building a Lasting Legacy - create relationships based on serving God's love offered up with excellence!
    Carrisa lives on thru Norah & the numerous Rich Relationships she built with so many--her sweet memory continues to bless all who knew her.
    May God bless your family during this difficult time.
    Love, Dianna & Rick Wright


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