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    His Beauty For My Ashes
    Tai Ikomi
    In a single day, Tai lost her husband and three children to a drunk driver. In this moving account, she describes her struggles, and how the Lord turned her ashes into beauty. “Anyone who has gone through a tragedy and is having a struggle because of it should read this book.” Evelyn Oral Roberts

    Price:  $4.95

    book excerpt

    Chapter 4
    The Funeral

    THE DAY OF the funeral finally came. It was Tuesday, the eighth of April...another day that was to remain indelible in my memory.

    I woke up and the memory of the accident flashed through my mind. I was numb. I was not exactly sure how to welcome this event that must unfold before the end of the day. It was now a week since the terrible accident had claimed the lives of my husband and our three precious children. The agony of watching them die was almost unbearable.

    Today, I was going go bury my loved ones. Indeed, this same day I had to watch their casket being lowered into the grave. Eight days before, they were with me; but they were no longer here. They had gone to the other world, beyond my touch, beyond my sight, beyond my reach; but not beyond my love. Oh, the agony of that moment!

    Why, oh why did they have to die?

    I remained calm. I knelt by my bed and praised God for the day. Next, I went to see my sister in another room. She suggested we sing aloud the praises of God. For a moment I hesitated. How could I raise my voice and sing on such a day as this - the day I was going to bury my family? I was not too sure such singing was appropriate for the day.
    Nevertheless, I decided to go ahead with her suggestion for two reasons. One, my twin sister loves me. If she suggested that we sing, it must be okay for I was, by this time, an emotional wreck. I could not think for myself.

    Secondly, I reasoned that there could be no harm in praising God. Singing to God could not make the situation worse. So I decided to praise God on the morning of the day I was to see the casket of my husband and three children lowered into the grave.

    We were on the second or third song when something happened inside of me. For the first time since their departure, I felt united with my departed loved ones. It was a feeling of closeness that is difficult to define or express.

    My family was singing God’s praises in heaven, while I was engaged in the same worship down below. We had the same Object of praise. We were praising the same Creator. Distance was no barrier as our hearts melted into one in gratitude to the One who has made us partakers of eternal life. At that moment I experienced the power inherent in praising the Almighty God!

    The hours rolled by quickly. At 2:30 p.m. we set out for the cemetery. The casket was hung just above the ground. It was closed. I had requested that it be that way, as their remains, I assumed, were no longer intact. I had also wished that they should be buried together. They had died together, and I believed that on Resurrection Day they would be raised together.

    I was not desirous of seeing their ravaged remains. I preferred to see them, in my mind, as vibrant, healthy and happy. And to this day I have not regretted the decision.

    I got out of the car, and I went straight to their casket. Tears began pouring from my eyes. The reality of their deaths was still not there. My head had assented to their death but my heart would not let go. As my fingers ran across their names, which had been engraved on the coffin, thoughts started pouring into my mind. Is this the end? Are you really in there? Are we never again to be together on this earth? At this point, I was ushered to my seat for the commencement of the service.

    The pastor opened the service with a Bible reading and a short commentary, as he reiterated this hope of the resurrection. Next came the song which I had chosen because it was our family’s favorite song.

    Redeemed - how I love to proclaim it!
    Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
    Redeemed through His infinite mercy
    His child, and forever, I am.
    Redeemed, Redeemed,
    Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
    Redeemed, Redeemed,
    His child, and forever, I am.

    The song hit me like an electrical wave. My soul suddenly became rapturous. I found myself amidst the angelic host in the spiritual realm. The atmosphere seemed to be filled with such a great brightness that it did not seem possible. I felt the atmosphere lit by praises, not only of the heavenly host, which included my family, but all of nature seemed to burst out literally in worship to the Almighty.

    All I wanted to do was join the heavenly host and my beloved ones beyond in spirit in praising our dear Redeemer. And that was exactly what I did. With my hands lifted up and my heart burning with praise, I offered glory and honor with my lips to the One who had given me hope of eternal life with Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. Before startled and amazed visitors, I praised God with a voice vibrant with emotion. Instead of a funeral service, the Holy Spirit, the One in charge, turned it into a praise service.

    It was an experience that has stayed with me. I am most indebted to the Lord of Glory who compassed me with such strength. Now I can truly say “Thank You, Jesus, for taking care of me and of my family yonder. I have no adequate means of praising You, but this one life that I have shall be spent in Your service.
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