Jared's funeral was Saturday, August 22, 2009. There was a viewing right before the funeral and one the night before. All were beautiful tributes to Jared. So many people came and showed their love and respect for Jared and the whole Garner family. Heath spoke at the funeral and did a great job. He outlined four of Jared's best qualities and then told stories to illustrate those qualities. It was a beautiful service and I'm sure Jared himself was touched at the love that was poured out in his behalf.
This is a picture of the Pallbearers. They were Heath, Josh, Jeremy, Ian, Justin Garner (cousin), Tyson Gardner (cousin), and Lonnie Flynn (cousin). Seeing Heath and his brothers carrying their own brother's casket was heartbreaking. I was so touched at the great care they took in handling it.
This is Ian (the youngest brother) placing his boutonniere on the casket.
This is Heath's mom, Jean Ann. She is one of the strongest people I know.
This is Jared's girlfriend, Stephanie. She is a great girl and the love of Jared's life. Jared was so lucky to have love like that in his life. He deserved it.
This is Heath and his brothers in the receiving line at one of the viewings.
This is Grandpa Garner going through the receiving line. It was only six weeks ago that he lost grandma.
Here are some of the flowers from the viewing. The all yellow ones were from Jared's two nephews, Micah and Ethan, and his niece, Abby. The flowers were beautiful and had a banner going across them that said, "Uncle Jared". He was a wonderful uncle and doted on them so much.
L to R Josh, Michael (their dad), Jeremy, Ian, Heath & Micah
On our way back to Utah, we stopped at the cemetery to see it one last time. The temporary headstone was really hard to see. I guess it was just another sign of how real the whole thing is.
Life is so short and sometimes you don't get that "one more time" you think you will get with someone.
I guess one thing I will take away from Jared's death is to remember to always let those close to me know that I love them. It's not cheesy to say, "I love you". It's loving and respectful and courageous. Jared knew that all along.
How do you say goodbye to someone you loved? Someone who is gone way too soon. Someone who had so much life to look forward to. I guess you don't say goodbye. I can't anyway. All I can say is that I love you, Jared. I love you like you were my own brother, and I will miss you.
Heath's brother, Jared Helaman Garner, died on August 14, 2009. The last time Heath and I saw him was in early July at their grandma's funeral. We had a family picture taken and Jared was upset because we didn't have Micah and Abby there to be in the picture. Looking back now, I regret that, because now we will never have a true family picture. We only had one of the pics made up because it was kind of a rushed situation. The picture was displayed at the funeral and then Heath's mom took it home to keep for herself. When it was time for everyone to go back to their own homes, Jared asked if he could have it. He also asked if he could have a recent pic of Micah and Abby that we had given Heath's mom. She didn't want to give them to him at first, but she saw how much having those pics meant to him, so she did.
Jared and I always had similar tastes in food. We both loved crab, salmon, salads, and just trying new things. When we were all in Rexburg for grandma's funeral, we bbqed one night and I thought it would be fun to do some cherry tomatoes. I was excited about it and Jared thought it would be good too. No one else would even try them, but Jared and I did and thought they were great. Jared always liked my cooking and was always grateful when I cooked for him.
He lived with us a couple of times and he loved when I made green salads. He said that I taught him to really appreciate salads. After that, every time he came to town, I made a big salad in his honor.
Another memory I have of Jared happened just a few months ago. He was in town, staying at our house, just a few days before my birthday. I was telling him that I had always wanted a Coach purse, but they were so expensive it was just something I never thought I would have. The day of my birthday, Jared had to fly back home. Before he left, he knocked on the door to our room and told me "Happy Birthday." He also asked what color of purses I liked. Well, about a week later, a package came in the mail. I opened it and found the cutest Coach purse I had ever seen. There was also a super sweet note attached that basically just said that he really wanted me to have a nice purse and he hoped I liked it. Liked it? I absolutely loved it! It's exactly what I would have picked myself. I called him to thank him and I could hardly even talk. I was so choked up about how generous and sweet it was. He was great about it and told me that he loved me and that I was a great sister-in-law and that he appreciated all Heath and I had done for him over the years.
I kept the little note right in a small pocket inside the purse. That's where it will stay from now on.
This is a picture taken at Christmas in 2007. It's one of the very few I have of Heath and all his brothers together.
L to R Jared, Heath, Jeremy (holding Micah), Ian, Josh
This is a picture of last Christmas (in Rexburg).
We were all having a good time playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Micah finally got a turn and was so excited about it. Here is uncle Jared helping him out on the drums.
This is Jared and the love of his life, Stephanie. They were living in Houston, TX when he died. Jared loved Stephanie so much. They were supposed to have a long and happy future together. They spent Thanksgiving with us in 2007 and spent several days with us after Christmas this past year.
This is another picture of this past Christmas. This was taken first thing in the morning, so everyone was really tired. Jared was such a good uncle and was awesome with both Micah and Abby. He would frequently call and talk to Micah on the phone. He always commented on my facebook posts and asked about the kids. In his last post to me he told me how much he loved Micah and Abby and asked me to give them kisses for him.
The pain of Jared being gone is so strong now, and I know we will all miss him so much. I do have comfort in knowing that we will see him again someday. Until then, I get comfort in thinking that maybe he has met my sister, Valerie, and they can be friends in heaven. He can tell her all about her nephew and niece, that she never got to meet.
We love you, Jared. You will never be forgotten and you will be greatly missed.