Friday, January 17, 2014

Is it because death is final?


Jason and I went to a funeral last weekend. I couldn't tell you the last time I went to one because this was my first.

I went to my first funeral with expectations, as we do most of our firsts. My expectations were full of black clothes, tears, awkward embraces. All somber and sad. A service touching but more depressing than anything. A church of family and friends gathered solemnly. Each attendee in their own bubble of sadness.

My expectations were unmet. 

The funeral was beautiful. Joy-filled. Sad -but only sad for us who are left behind to miss her sweet spirit. For the husband of 54 years here without his first, last, and always. For the great grand kids who won't be able to know her gentle soul and friendly arms. For the memories she won't get to bestow upon my story-loving ears.

The casket was there -unexpected and slightly arresting for my first time. That's how death is, isn't it? Unexpected. And we like to have our expectations met -rarely exceeded. But death it's out of our control. And that's uncomfortable for the planners like me. It derails our plans and changes our trajectory while encouraging us to do justice to the time we have.

Is it because death is final? So final. Unlike everything else we experience. Marriage should be final -but it isn't says our divorce rates. Children feel final -until they turn eighteen and grow up. Death, though, is final. You can't come back or change ways or do anything but wish for it to be different. Here I stand: dumbfounded. 

I left that funeral loving the woman I went to mourn more than when I arrived. I left inspired by her husband's love for her -hoping that's the love my husband will feel for me. I left hoping to be a pillar in the lives of many as she was all of her days. I left preemptively cherishing every little ounce of life I've got in me.

We're supposed to feel sad -and I do. But she's healed in Heaven -a place she always wanted to go. So, I shall spend the weekend doing the things that scream air into my lungs and adrenaline into my soul -all in celebrating her once again.

And to you, I wish the same. 

11 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful post! Praying for you guys

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  2. hugs to you and the family. losing a grandparents is sad time (but hopeful at the same time, knowing they are with God after living for Him for so long).

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  3. I recently went to a funeral, and I hadn't been to one in several years. I left just feeling blessed that I had the chance to know her, but so so sad for the people who wouldn't have a chance to know her. Death is always hard to deal with when you're the one left behind. Sending thoughts and prayers to your family.

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  4. I've found that funerals are sad, but hopeful at the same time. I never cry until I leave. If you ever go visit her grave maybe you'll notice this too. When I am there, I feel comfort, but as soon as I leave I feel the loss again and cry. It's almost like they're with you when you're there, but when you leave it's sad again. Don't know how else to explain it. This was beautiful!

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  5. Death is a really weird thing and funerals are so strange. I remember getting ready for my grandma's funeral, trying to decide what to wear and curling my hair like it was a date. And it was sad - very sad for me as we were very close - but it was also a time for remembering and fellowship with family. I still feel sad that she is gone but then I remember that I get to spend eternity with her and it eases the grief some.

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  6. Many of the funerals I've been to have been more of a celebration of their life rather than sad. They are always strange and beautiful at the same time. Like a momentary reflection of what everyone in the room is feeling - confused, sad, melancholy, and introspective.

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  7. It seems final to us left behind because we can't really imagine life any other way, but the one thing that has kept me grounded but full of joy and hope after my dad's death is that it's not final (well it is in the sense you speak of) but your grandma and my dad are having the time of their life for the rest of eternity, and one day we will too...with them. That is the only hope I can cling to in grieving the death of someone, that we will one day be in Paradise together with Jesus. But when someone dies that never knew The Lord, it saddens me beyond belief because it really is final. There is no second chance to live this life all over again nor ever see them again. So yes, let us speak life into and love on people while we can so we leave a legacy once we are separated by death here on earth! Xo!

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  8. I send you prayers and thoughts on your loss. Funerals are tough. They never get easier, but they're also necessary in my opinion. They give you a chance to say goodbye and feel a little more at peace with your loss.


    Jamie @
    The Growing Up Diaries

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  9. Hugs all around!!!! I do have to say, that death is bittersweet sometimes. its VERY sad but its also sometimes better for them so they are painfree. Love you boo bear

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  10. I am sorry for your loss ... Funerals are never easy, but at least, our loved ones do not suffer anymore (that's what I felt when my Grandpa passed away). It is sad, especially during the ceremony, but it can also be happy, when you talk about this person with your relatives, when you laugh about what he or she could have said or done. It is the best way to remember those you are gone, before we join them. I don't really know what I believe in yet, but I believe for sure in a place where we gather with the one we love.

    I am sending you hugs and love in this difficult moment, and all my thoughts go to you, your family and this woman's

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  11. I love that you left inspired--to me, that's what funerals should be about. Sharing the life that was with those that are so they can learn and follow. A friend of mine's dad recently passed away, and his funeral included a TON of stories from old friends and family, and they played "Yellow Submarine" at the grave site. It was SO Kurt, and it was really encouraging and motivating to see the legacy he left. It sounds like this was a similar experience--and that means there was a great person being remembered!


    Hugs & prayers!

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