Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lessons From a Funeral

My wife's grandma passed last week. She was 95, had faith in Jesus and was ready to go home. Here are some of the highlights. 

Family is very important.

I mean this from a Christian point of view as well as a physical factor. Having someone to hug, someone to reminisce with and someone to understand what you're going through is vital to the healing process. This particular week meant not having my wife around for a few days, while funeral preparations were made. While I may someday declare my heroics of taking care of the kids as a single dad, I'll admit that 1-course meals and outfits which may or may not match is nothing compared to the emotional strength my wife provided and offered to her family. 

Taking a timeout from regular life, both to celebrate the life of a loved family member and also to consider our own mortality is only made richer when the words, embraces and casseroles of our Christian brothers and sisters surround us. 

Considering what it's like "for those who have no hope" in the face of death only instills in me a hunger to make sure no one is without. 

There were so many teachable moments for our children. 

My kids are still young. While this was not the first time they had heard of death, this was the first service they went to, the first viewing they experienced and the first time they got to contemplate the sequence of events; from "great grandma is sick" to "great grandma may not make it" to "I have to tell you something."

We talked about the purpose of a viewing, to why we put our bodies in a box. All the while, we kept reminding our kids about the truth of Scripture, that "we don't mourn like those who have no hope." We kept assuring them that God did answer their prayers to relieve great grandma of any pain. We rejoiced that we would someday be reunited with her in Heaven. 

Any trip or event with children is bound to provide laughter, if you keep your eyes open. 

I explained that funerals are celebrations much like a wedding. My kids, apparently paying attention, noted that a wedding means cake and a funeral mean pie. Well, they aren't wrong about that! 

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