This week I attended two funerals. One via Facebook Live and the other in person with only 15 people in attendance, all of us wearing masks and observing social distancing. Both very different but both so honoring of those who are no longer with us. Coincidentally, both people passed away on Saturday, August 15th. Heaven received two beautiful people that day within 90 minutes of each other. They didn’t know one another, but they did have something in common – they both loved Jesus and they were each loving parents to two dear friends. One, a wonderful, loving father who fought a valiant battle of Parkinson’s Disease for many years, and the other a gentle, kind 95 yr. old who was a true Proverbs 31 woman. She fought severe Dementia for about 10 yrs. Having experienced the loss of my own daughter, who also fought a disease for over 10 yrs., I understand what it feels like to walk this long journey with a loved one. I have had such compassion for each of my friends as they have watched their loved one suffer the ramifications of their diseases. My heart has been joined with their heart. It’s so hard to lose someone, whether you are expecting it or it blindsides you; the hurt, the missing and the grief are all still the same. I recently began thinking about this scripture:
“There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance. ” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4 AMP
Certainly, I’ve heard this scripture before but since my daughter died things have become more real and amplified for me. My friend who lost her mom, called the service her “Home-Going”. After listening to the pastor I thought that term was so appropriate. Pastor Al gently reminded us that this is not our home. You may be living in your beautiful dream home but that is not your permanent home. Considering how short life truly is, and how it can change in an instant, it made me think of this quote from Abraham Lincoln: “And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” When you think of life in that way it puts things in perspective.
Friends, it’s okay if you’re missing your loved one today. It’s okay to grieve and it’s absolutely okay to cry. Tears are cleansing. But I encourage you to continue to hold tight to your good memories. Say their name – out loud! They will never be forgotten. Put on some music. Dance. Sing through your tears. Lift your hands high to the One that longs to hold you. Take it one day at a time, and some days if necessary, moment by moment. Determine in your heart that you won’t let it weigh you down to the point that you are not living. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5).