Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Putting the "fun" in "funeral"

Since I've known Danny, he has been dreading yesterday. His grandma has always been a huge part of his life, and her death was not something Danny's family had wanted to admit as a possibility - let alone an inevitability. She was blessed with 95 remarkably vital years, and it was only in the last 1 that we saw real proof of her mortality. God graciously weakened her, in large part I believe, to prepare all of us for her home-going. And in fact, yesterday's memorial proved that we were all in large degree, ready. Danny actually remarked on a number of occasions that it was FUN. And it was. There were, of course, plenty of tears as we remembered a godly, loving, selfless woman, but there was a great deal of laughter too. We have no doubt that Grandma is in heaven, enjoying fellowship with her Savior, so in a very real sense we rejoiced in the cessation of her pain. Most of us also have assurance through God's Word and a relationship with His Son that we'll someday be joining her. So ours is only a temporary good-bye. I don't pretend to understand the grief of those closest to Grandma or intend to diminish it, but there were no hopeless, heart-wrenching sobs filling the chapel that morning. We enjoyed our time together as a family - supported by hundreds of friends - honoring a woman who loved us beyond measure, and our God who she loved even more. This is a little bit of the tribute Danny was able to share with everyone yesterday:
"My grandma accomplished many noteworthy things in her 96 years, but she saved her best for this past year. Grandma has consistently provided the appropriate lessons for my level of maturity. When I was young, she taught me lessons like “look before crossing the street,” “stay seated at the dinner table,” and “be sure to go potty before going to bed to avoid an accident.” As I grew older (and hopefully more mature) the lessons continued, but became far less trivial. Grandma taught her final and most important lesson as she prepared for eternity with our Lord. Grandma faced her mortality with no fear of what was to come as she “watched expectantly for the God of our salvation” (Micah 7:7)."
"As we watched Grandma’s health deteriorate and her strength and independence disappear, her focus never wavered. The day before she died I was able to spend some time with Grandma and read to her from Scripture. Do you know what elicited a “two thumbs up” from her? A passage from Revelation 21 which says: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Grandma’s character was consistent to the end. She continued to love and care for us, placing our needs before her own - including graciously allowing us to address her mortality. We weren’t forced to ignore the fact that she would soon be Heaven-bound. I am so thankful for the manner in which she lived her life, but I will be permanently impacted by the way she prepared to die."
"Grandma understood that she only had a few more hours to live and it was her hope in our Savior that brought her peace and joy. Do you have that hope and peace? You can! Grandma spent her final moments reminding us of how we should live. I am grateful for all of the lessons she taught me, most important were the ones that pointed me to the One Who is worthy of our love, our hope and our life."


Anonymous said...

What makes a funeral fun??
"F" - Family and friends
"U" - Undenialbe assurance of
"N" - No more sorrow, no more

Love from

Willis said...

I'm sorry for your family's loss, but I am grateful that you know you will see her again in heaven. With the assurance of heaven, we can celebrate when a loved one goes "home."


By the Brook said...

Praise Him for His grace and favor!