death needs to die...

Having been a licensed minister now for over 8 years, I have had the "privilege" of conducting a number of funerals over the years. Most of them up to now have been for people over the age of 70. They lived long lives. They had kids and grandkids. They spent their hard-earned retirement. They lived a long life and passed on.

Then you realize that death shows no favorites.

We received a call last Thursday that our godson Rayce had passed away. He was not over 70. He hadn't even signed up for a checking account, much less spent his retirement. He was 4 years old.

Rayce had numerous medical issues from the time he was born. His parents, Billy & Dara, had been completely selfless in taking care of him. No matter how many tests or procedures, his body seemed to be always ahead of the doctors in adding to his long list of conditions. At the end of his life, it was his heart that cut his life extremely short.

I was asked by his parents to conduct Rayce's funeral service. "Of course", I said while thinking How in the heck do I do this? How do I put my own feelings about Rayce's passing aside and give him the honor he's due?

Fast forward to after the funeral.

It went well. It was all Billy and Dara wanted for their precious child. And I found that after I had stuffed my emotions for so long in order to be strong for everyone around me that I loved, that the feelings welled up inside me so strong that I couldn't help but cry. As Kara and I said goodbye to the silver urn with Rayce's name engraved on it, I finally wept.

"I had dreams of doing things with my son. And I'm still gonna do them. And I'm gonna think of Rayce when I do them"
Billy Cannon, Rayce's dad


  1. Jeff, being a parent as you and I are, make a child's death a bit different in the pit of our souls. What a tough honor you had to do the funeral. Thank you for being able to be the Godly man you are, even in times of hurt and pain. I pray that God lifts the pain in your heart and fills it with a joy you and Kara have yet to know.

  2. Hi Kara, it's Karen, Bill & Teresa's friend. She told me of Rayce, and I am so very sorry for your loss. Even 23 months into my journey as a widow, I have often thought the only pain worse would be that of losing a child. As a parent, I simply can't imagine and am so very sorry. Your family, and Rayce's family, will remain in my prayers.