Posted by: Chris Hoskins | October 5, 2008

Missing you so much Iona

We laid Iona to rest today. Was a minging day weatherwise, and a sad day otherwise. i knew today was going to be hard, but I hadn’t realised how hard.

We had a wee memorial service in Jonnie’s parents house. Jonnie and Susie had arranged the coffee table so that there were pictures of Iona, a clay imprint of her hands and feet, a lock of her hair, blankets Jonnies mum and sister had made her and some little boots and hats she’d worn. It was so sad looking at all of them arranged on the table.Thinking of all the precious memories I have of her and of all the dreams stolen away from us all for her future. Graham the minister taking the service, read out psalm 139 and a really sad winnie the pooh story, chosen because Iona had a lot of winnie the pooh stuff. He also shared some of the memories and dreams Jonnie and Susie had shared with him for today. Things such as Susie had been looking forward t taking her swimming (Susie is a great swimmer) and Jonnie taking great care and delight in washing Iona’s hair every morning and making sure it was just how she liked it. It was such alovely, but sad moment.

Then we went up to the cemetary. It was horrible weather, windy and wet. Perfect for making us feel worse than we already did! Susie carried Iona’s tiny coffin from the car to the graveside. Her and jonnie thought it was right that one of them did it, and Susie wanted to because she was the first to hold Iona and it was Susie’s arms that Iona died in. Once everyone was at the graveside, Jonnie lay a red rose on her white coffin, one of the saddest sights I’ll remember forever. Then Jonnie, his Dad, Susie’s Dad and myself lowered her gently into the grave. I wrote on Tuesday that holding after she’d passed away was the hardest thing I’d ever have to do, I was so wrong, it was so painful lowering her down, watching her tiny white coffin getting lower and lower. Although it was comforting to think that her 2 favourite teddies were in there with her, Moo, her cow and Baa, her sheep.

Graham then lead a beautiful reflection, then the undertakers covered her grave. all the family then lay flowers at her graveside, Ann and Andrew (Linda and Susies mum and dad) lay flowers in a teddy bear shape, Linda and I lay an arrangement of pink gerboras, Jonnie and Susie had put the rose on her coffin, I forget what other flowers were there.

Many of us wore pink, as that’s the color we all associate with Iona. I bought a hot pink T-shirt specially to wear for Iona, which is now going to go into Linda and I’s box of Iona memories.

It’s been such a hard day, I didn’t ever want to say goodbye to Iona. It’s quite hard already, because a few people seem to think that the funeral is the hardest part and that it all gets easier from there. It doesn’t. i miss her just as much, if not more, despite having had the funeral. I pray that time will never ease the pain of her loss, I don’t want to dwell on it forever, but I know I’m going to hurt every time I think of her, I don’t want to become accumstomed to her not being around. Her being taken from us should never feel right.

A few people have told us that there is a reason for her dying, or that good will come of it. Fair enough, maybe good will come of it, but I refuse to believe that is the reason she was born and died. Iona dying is a tragedy, an injustice. I don’t want anyone to try and explain why she’s gone, how can there be a rational reason for all of this? It sucks. I want her back, we all do.

One of Ann and Andrews friends sent an email saying that when Christ returns and the dead and raised to life, Iona’s going to come running straight for Jonnie and Susie. I don’t care what your theological insights on eschatology are, thats a beautiful picture that made us all smile.

It was so sad to see Jonnie and Susie, all the family, in so much pain today, yet amazing to see how strong Jonnie and Susie are. I don’t know how anyone can be so strong after going through all they’ve been through. I was really touched by what Avril said in her post ‘memories’. It’s nice to know that some positives can come out of such a crap situation.
One fo my friends sent me this song via facebook today; its called ‘Homesick’ by mercy me, it can be listened to here: Homesick

lyrics are:
You’re in a better place, I’ve heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I’ve rejoiced for you
But the reason why I’m broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
I’ve never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don’t understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I’ll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I’m still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
I’ve never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbye
And in Christ, there is no end
So I’ll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow

I’ve never been more homesick than now

I can’t listen to this song now without filling up, it will forever be one of those songs that makes me think of Iona, along with ‘In the arms of an Angel’.

We’re all still struggling with this so much, we will be for a long time, thank for for reading this and for your prayers and whatever support you have given me/the whole family. I’m still going to be writing about this so muhc. Like i said, just because we had her funeral today, this is not by any means over for any of us.
Here’s a wee picture of her:

On Tuesday, after she had passed away. The nurses made feet and handprints of Iona, they also cut a lock of her hair for Jonnie and Susie, Andrew, being great with anything to do with Graph Comm turned those precious mementos into this lovely picture:

I may be repeating myself, but I, we, all miss her so much. I wish none of us had to feel this pain and that we could just have Iona back here with us. I want to hug her and kiss her, tell her that she means the world to me. I want to see Jonnie and Susie raise her, to nurture her, see Andrew be the amazingly sweet grandad he is. I just want t see her grow up being so loved by so many people. Just one of many dreams stolen from this family when Iona died…..

‘peace’ out



  1. Oh Chris, again I don’t know what to say but just want you to know that I am thinking of you and praying for you. I was telling my mum about what has happened and she already knew all about it, her prayer group had been praying for Jonnie and Susie and Iona all along. Know that you are all still being prayed for as much now as you have been over the past two months xxx

  2. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face Chris, wishing the past 7 weeks had been so different for you all.
    Just wanted to say that I think you are honouring Iona’s memory so beautifully. Keep talking about her, keep remembering your special moments together, keep dreaming of the day when she’ll come running with a hug and to hold the hands of big uncle Chris and lovely auntie Linda.
    Will keep praying x

  3. love you xx

  4. Chris

    Please know that we have been and continue to pray for you all. I thank God for the peace you do feel, but continue to ask Him to be right beside you and to support you in the hurt and pain.


  5. […] Iona at the start of the week (see previous post), beginning to deal with the emotions and thoughts that have come out of that whole crappy […]

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