This past week my mother-in-law’s twin sister passed away unexpectedly, peacefully in her sleep. My husband and I are filled with sorrow over it but are thankful that we were able to be with the family during this time. It was healing and strengthening. If she was able to see us all together, I’m sure she would have been very pleased to see so many of her friends and family together like that.
My husband summed it up best by saying: She was a gentle, kind-hearted woman. She cared very much about her children and grandchildren and for all her family. Though she had a lot of pain in her life, she was always generous and giving. She never stopped giving.
Death is hard and sad but it’s important to remember that it is real and to contemplate it every now and then and let it remind us of why we are really here. Here are some thoughts I felt like sharing:
(June 24, 2010)
We saw her body today.
It looked like her.
But she wasn’t in there (her body)
Death, like life, is real.
We are alive, and then
One day, our life here will just
Before babies are born.
they alive but we
begin their life officially
on the day they are born.
After a person dies, they
are alive also. In a
different, invisible way.
I am convinced that there must be some life after this one.
We couldn’t just go through all this for it to just be over when we die.
It has to be for something greater,
or all this would be pointless.
I am also more and more convinced
that heaven, the Kingdom of God
must have some physical existence.
We know it’s not in the sky
or on the moon.
But it is somewhere…
I feel alive, I look alive; I am alive.
One day, I’ll be dead.
People will come and look at my dead body.
but I won’t be there anymore.
I don’t know exactly where I’ll be.
My soul belongs to God. He gave it to me but I want it to belong to Him.
When I die, I hope my soul will be with God.
I know people left here will be sad
because they will miss my physical presence here.
I’m sure I might miss their physical interaction as well.
But I would be so sad
if people used my death as an excuse to betray
themselves or God.
If they turned their backs on Him
just because He took me to Him, whom I belong to,
my life would have been a waste.
I hope that my life will point others to God,
If I’ve ever done that (turned them away) by my actions or words;
I am truly, truly sorry.
After a time of grieving
– a good and healthy one-
I would hope my friends and family would continue
living each day to the fullest.
Even an ordinary day, lived for God and with love,
can be extraordinary.
Simple things can be done to the fullest.
Still, I must confess that death frightens me.
And rightly so…
it scares the hell out of me.
It is bigger than me.
It will probably hurt in some way.
It is the most unknown mystery ever.
There’ so much more I’d like to do and see
so much I’d like to show my children
so much more I’d like to share
with my husband and family and friends
I love this life; my family, husband, children…
I am so frightened of being separated from them,
of me losing one of them, or them me.
It would be enough to break hearts.
When we allow God to break us,
He can put us back together
and make us stronger.
I think death will probably be a lot like labor and birth,
except it will be my soul that is being expelled from this body
into a whole new world.
In a way, I hope (and almost know) my husband will be there,
just like he’s been there for each of our children’s births.
Whether he’ll be on this side, or that, I know he’ll be there.
Helping me relax and stay calm, strong
I know that this past week is only the beginning from here on out for funerals.
Life will also be full of weddings, baptisms, laughter but I know it will also
be full of death as grandparents, aunts and uncles…parents…
I love my family.
Sometimes, like all families, they drive me a little crazy.
But then one day they’ll just be gone.
And I’ll miss them and want them
to drive me crazy again.
Losing friends will be difficult too…
losing my husband or a child…
that would be the worst to bury a child of mine before me.
Death is scary and sad and devastating; depressing.
But we cannot let it take us over and fill us with desperation.
God is bigger than death.
Yet death, In Christ, is the only way
to real life forever with Him
So we must trust in Him,
even in the wake of death,
even if the pain is too strong.