Copyright © Edward Riojas
I should have known better. I should have known that the Voces8 rendition of Edward Elgar’s “Lux Aeterna” would push me over the edge. It did.
I allowed tears to gush for awhile, then headed out to my cold woodshop with a small armful of lumber.
It is one thing to build an adult’s casket, as I did for my father, but it is quite another to do the same for a tiny infant. I considered it a great honor to do this one final thing for my little granddaughter, Perpetua Felicity.
|Thank you to Carrie Roberts of|
Ecclesiastical Sewing, who
created this miniature pall
for the casket.
The casket’s interior is only nine inches long – probably too long, even with all the extra cushion that went inside. Making such a small container was sobering and difficult. So was watching my daughter unravel an unfinished baby blanket to crochet a much smaller one.
Caring for the “least of these” in this manner is important for them – and for us. They are, after all, part of that world for which Jesus Christ died. Perpetua is His. For our part, we will always need to be reminded of the fragility of this life, and the Hope of the more blessed one to come.
I built the little casket in such a way that its lid is secured by bolts piercing a cross – representing the five wounds of Christ. In death, Perpetua Felicity – whose name means “Everlasting Happiness” – is held by the victorious cross of Christ. In life eternal, she will be held by the same. And that is huge.