Friday, April 20, 2007

A Funeral... No, No, No!!! A Celebration

Everything was just beautiful! There were about 200 people that attended the services in Cottonwood this afternoon. Everyone in the family was there except Joel his wife and two daughters. Joel was here for 16 days attending to Tyree before her passing and was a tremendous help and comfort to us all. He and his family were unable to make it to the funeral.

When we arrived at 9:00 am this morning the church building was beautifully decorated with many of the flower arrangements that so many of you had donated. The front of the Chapel was filled with many different styles of daisies (Ty's favorite flower in the whole world). It made for a peaceful atmosphere and was very pleasant to be in the midst of vibrant beauty.

In an adjacent room, the casket was placed for the family and general viewing. Tyree was dressed in the simple elegance of the pure white temple garments and was laid comfortably in her casket with a noticeable peace filled look on her face. There were many tears shed while the congregation passed by and paid their final respects to the body that once housed the exuberant spirit of Tyree Corine Miller.

My Dad led the family viewing and prayer meeting. It was beautiful to meet together to support and love one another.

Everyone that came to the services would have rather not met under these circumstances, and we all tried to put on a happy face. But deep down we all had a little pain. We know that the pain is lessened through the power of the Atonement and we are made perfect through Jesus Christ. His peace was upon us today.

After the viewing the congregation moved back into the chapel where the program began at 12:00 noon. It was our goal to have the ceremony last less than an hour (If you know our family you realize this was not as easy as it sounds). Jason opened with a prayer. I spoke first and talked about Ty's life history. I tried to keep it pretty light, the way I think Ty would have wanted me to do it. I told several funny stories about us growing up and how we never fought(OK, that was a joke). I talked of many of our experiences as young adults, and I bore my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel.

Kathleen Holyoak wrote a special musical number which was performed by the young women of Ty's ward. It was as though the angels of heaven were among us as those beautiful words were being sung.

Following the song Erika got up and powerfully taught and testified of the power of the resurrection. She taught gospel doctrines that caused the spirit to burn within each of us. She also related a couple stories about Tyree and how even now through her passing she was continuing to bring people unto Christ. Erika testified that Tyree's spirit was no longer trapped in this mortal body, but was peacefully lingering in the realm of the spirits, embracing those that passed before her.

Chris followed Erika and after thanking the congregation for all they had done for him and his family gave unique insights to Tyree. He related several stories that told of how he and Ty met, how they both loved to serve others, and told of Ty's unquenchable desire to serve the Lord and the young women she serves so faithfully.

The final speaker was Bishop Merwin. He shared several scriptures and personal stories about birth, death, and the resurrection. He bore powerful personal testimony of the Savior and his mission. The spirit followed right behind his words to confirm his message to our hearts. Mom closed the meeting with a prayer.

Today was a special day. I will never forget it.



At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Dana Reinhold said...

Thank you for allowing all of us to come a share this day with you. Tyree looked so beautiful. It was very hard to be there under these circumstances, but seeing her family and their affirmation of her spirit was very comforting. Please continue to post here as many would like updates on your family and little jocelyn. (I met her today too, and she is beautiful!)

At 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so hard to believe she is gone.
Tyree will be deeply missed.

Alice Young

At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Dawn Farr said...

Wow! It sounds like a you all planned the perfect way to celebrate her and her life. I wish I could have physically been there but you were all in my thoughts all day.

I have to agree with Dana...please keep us posted as often as possible on how you all are doing. If we make it to Phoenix this summer (what kind of crazy person goes to Phoenix in the summer? I don't know!) I will make arrangements to come and see you all.

Thanks for sharing the services with us!


At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Laree said...

I am writing this note from our hotel room in San Antonio, Texas, as I have been here since Wednesday for my Step-son's graduation from Air Force Basic Training, and I can't stop thinking about all of you.

For whatever reason, Tyree must have thought she would test me on my decisions over the past week. She never did make things easy for me...but she always helped me to look within myself and ask the question, "what would I want" when making my decisions, and this was no different. The decision of which ceremony to be attending this Friday was not an easy one for me, but after asking myself what Tyree would want me to do, and "what would I want," I knew that Tyree would have wanted me to attend the most important day, to date, of my step-son's life. So, that is the decision that I made. I know how proud of Matthew and how excited that she was when I told her of his decision to enter the military, and I know that her passing on his birthday and the services being held on his graduation day was just another way of her telling me that I needed to be with him and simply think of her always on those special dates.

Also, on my first evening in San Antonio, I went to the Base Exchange (BX) with Mark and Matthew and saw an angel ornament with Jocelyn's name on it. I almost broke into tears, as I think that every time I spoke to Tyree about her beautiful little girl, she would say, "Laree, she's my angel from heaven." With that, I had to buy it. Tyree, I will be sure to look after your little angel.

Again, I am so sorry that I wasn't able to be with my Johnson and Miller family during this time, but I was truely there in spirit. Tyree and all of her family have helped me to become the person that I am today, and for that, I am deeply thankful.

I love you all!


At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Tammie Alldredge Willis said...

Dear Johnson & Miller Families,

Holly Alldredge Russell and Meredith Alldredge told me about Tyree only this last week and about Ty and her journey back to our Heavenly Father. Holly, infact, sent me this blog site.

Let me tell you how I remember this beautiful daughter of God.

I remember Tyree as being a young woman with a big, big smile and a girl who had happiness radiating from her. I knew that she would grow to be a great woman and a wonderful mother. You could just feel that. I will always remember her that way.

As a temple ordinance worker, I am reminded weekly of the precious and sacred blessings that come from righteous living. Ty left this world and entered the next as a woman who deserves the maximum benefits from all of those blessings.

I pray that you all may be comforted by the knowledge that Tyree still lives and works for the benefit of others and that love does penetrate the veil.

Tammie Alldredge Willis


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