I can remember it like it was yesterday although it’s been almost 30 years now.
I stood in the midst of one half of the crowd that had gathered to pay their last respects to my grandfather.
People jostled for places amidst the tombs and gravestones of the long-gone that surrounded the yawning, freshly-dug earth.
I remember a lot about that day. But my most vivid memory was that of my mother.
Standing in the opposing half of the crowd, the youngest of her siblings, she stood near them yet slightly apart. Dressed in her funereal black, her head bowed, her face was a mixture of stoicism and sadness.
The graveside rituals faded into the background as I watched her from afar. My thirteen-year-old self wondered what losing a parent felt like. Did it get easier at my mom’s age, after all my grandfather was old. Death was what happened to old people, right?
Over the years that scene has replayed itself many a time. And as the years creep up, and I get closer to the age my mother was when she lost her dad, I wonder, “Am I ready to lose my parents?”
Am I mentally prepared for life without them in it?
The answer is a resounding “no”.
I finally have the answer to the question I pondered so long ago.
It is never easy to say goodbye.
No matter what age you are or your loved one is.
As I write, tears are slowly coursing down my cheeks at the mere thought of what I’m writing becoming a reality.
I am definitely not ready. Who is?
Even when you’ve been put on notice and have been blessed to have adequate time to prepare, it still hits you.
My father-in-law passed to his rest today.
We knew it was inevitable; the signs all pointed to his imminent departure; yet when the call came, it still took us by surprise.
But it is at times like this that I am very thankful for The Blessed Hope.
As much as we despise it, death is a part of life as we know it. But the same Jesus who said He’d be resurrected three days after His death and fulfilled His promise has assured us that He will come again.
And while there are many things I look forward to experiencing upon His return, seeing my long-departed, loved ones tops the list.
“There will be the shout of command, the archangel’s voice, the sound of God’s trumpet, and the Lord himself will come down from heaven. Those who have died believing in Christ will rise to life first;” 1 Thessalonians 4:16 GNB
Oh what a reunion that will be!
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain…” Revelation 21:4 KJV
Friends, I am looking forward to that day. Are you?
The signs all point to God’s imminent arrival; let us not be caught unawares. Let us be ready.