Several years ago, when I was a pediatric chaplain, I attended an Amish family in the wake of a horrific buggy accident.  A minivan had hit the family buggy full of children.  One of the little boys died instantly and was taken to the county coroner's.

I walked with the family to the coroner's where they were able to view the child.  Their grief and anguish was thick and overwhelming.  But, in the midst of the gasping sobs which colored the air, the grandfather and uncle of the boy pulled aside the coroner and calmly asked permission to measure his body.  The coroner was confused for moment, but then they explained.

They needed his measurements to build his coffin.

A final ministry...and I can imagine the blessing it was to fit together the boards, to lose themselves in a familiar work done in love.  


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