The memorial.

If you’ve ever read Square Piece, you know that I delight in thorough updates, sharing details and being transparent.  Real life is never something that I want to hide, coming off as though I’m somehow above anyone else.

But Charley’s death has me stuck a little.

All of a sudden I have more bits and pieces, more thoughts, more emotions… more pictures and even more videos at my fingertips.  The ability to share is there, but the eagerness to do so is now replaced with more hesitation.

Guys, I’m sure you know this, but death ain’t pretty.  It’s a curse.

That said, what our family witnessed and what our family DID for each other… Well, you’ve never seen such beauty.  I knew it.  Brian knew it.  Charley knew it.

So in time, when I begin to share more about what happened this weekend, know that I’m sharing the beauty of the mercy of the Lord and the miracle of His peace that passes understanding.

Our hearts waver to hold onto that.  We get blindsided by sweet memories with all of the triggers that still surround us (a mug, a song, a photo), so we break down as our hearts long to still physically share each present minute with Charley.  But then, with our hope in heaven, we quietly nod in agreement to the gentle reminder that he was a sweet gift to our family and is now pain-free.

If you’d like to join us in celebrating what a special life Charley had, what a wonderful man he was, what an incredible husband he was to Momma and father he was to his children, Charley’s memorial service will be on Thursday, May 30th, at 1:00pm in Woodstock, Virginia at First Baptist Church (directions here).  I’m told that Charley wanted us to celebrate, so in spite of my instincts to don myself in black apparel, we will be colorfully adorning ourselves.

I hope that I don’t lose you, my readers, if over the course of the next few weeks, months, etc., I need to remember and share a few details from Charley’s last weekend.  My intentions are never to depress the Square Piece audience!  But perhaps we can all marvel together.  You’ll know what I mean in time.

For now, here’s a pic of Bennett snacking on Poppy and Poppy lovin’ on Bennett mere hours before the words were uttered, “I feel like it’s time to go.”

Charley(I’m sorry if that makes you cry, Momma!  But it’s okay.  I’m crying with you!)



  1. May 28, 2013
    Heather H

    I’m crying too. I’m so sorry my sweet friends. Death is ugly and grief is strange and unkind. I love you and am praying for you.

  2. May 28, 2013
    Lisa Mikitarian

    So much beauty.

  3. May 28, 2013

    Charley’s hands say so much. I can feel the love

  4. May 28, 2013
    lisa copp croft

    That is a beautiful picture of his last moments with his Poppy. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Your Mom is a dear person. She was one of my first friends in our homeschool group. I have been priveleged to know them both. They were a beautiful example to us all of a loving and faithful Christian marriage. God bless you all.

  5. May 28, 2013
    Sebrina Shadler

    I’m crying! Beautiful words Suzy!

  6. May 28, 2013
    Aunt Ethelyn

    We are crying with you. So wish we could be there, but Lavelle is still getting over the surgery. We will be there in spirit.

  7. May 28, 2013

    I am so moved by Charley’s homegoing. He was a godly man of integrity.

  8. May 28, 2013

    Suzy, what you all experienced over the weekend was such a privilege and it’s obvious that you also see it that way. Not everyone has the opportunity to not only say goodbye the way you all did, but also to practically walk Charley to Heaven’s gate.
    Your friends are grieving with you and I personally expect that you will be open and eloquent with your feelings here.

  9. May 28, 2013

    As hard as it will be, I’m glad you will be slowly sharing this. And I’m sure you will be touching someone elses life in a profound way. Someone who may not have been able to put into words what their experince was like when they lost someone dear to them. I love you. I’m so sorry Suzy, And at the same time, just so thankful Charley is not hurting anymore.

  10. May 28, 2013

    It always brings me unspeakable joy to hear of a man who lived a life that encircled his loved ones with such purpose and purposed-love. As you share, I know Ill be hearing a testimony of God’s love surrounding a family who’s hearts revere our Heavenly Father. I want to hear about the beauty that lies behind such a tragedy so that I can rejoice with you all the more. I want to share in your hurt knowing how to pray and ask Jesus for His comfort to you all.
    Hugs to you all and I am sorry that He is no longer with you all… But am thankful to know he is resting in the arms of His Father and that you all were blessed to have the time you did have with him in this life.

    You’ll have to point me out to him in Heaven one day… I’d love to meet him 😉

  11. May 28, 2013

    All of the above. I am looking forward to reading about this weekend. Your moms post today was so touching. The picture of Bennett and Poppy is also very touching. Bennett knew his poppy was leaving. I think they both knew that day in the hospital when they were both looking inside of each other. I’ve only met him through your moms postings along with a few of his, through FB , but I feel like he was a friend of mine. He sent me a smiley face late last week to a comment I made oh FB months ago. I’m rambling. I’m sad.

  12. May 28, 2013
    Pam McCarthy

    Someday that picture will show Bennett what love looked like from Charley. Death is sad and hard. I’m sorry.

  13. May 28, 2013
    Marie Finch

    I know the heart ache, I also know peace. Let love continue to live in happy memories. Let smiles from heaven be reflected with smiles on earth. The parting is temporary but reunions are eternal.

    All my love and sympathy


  14. May 29, 2013

    Thank you so much for sharing these last precious moments! “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart” (Eph 7:2)

  15. May 29, 2013

    that is a picture that Bennett will cherish once he’s old enough to really know what a wonderful man his Poppy was. And what a blessing that Charley had a few months of being a ‘Poppy’ before his homegoing.

    Give your mom and sibs big hugs from me

  16. May 29, 2013
    Aunt Manny

    I want to live a life like Charley did. Always putting others first. Observing beyond the surface. Loving without caution. That was Charley. He loved life. <3

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