(Click on the song “The Weight Of Us”)
Yesterday I attended a funeral. I haven’t been to a funeral since my baby brothers, which was 22 years ago. My friend’s wife passed away unexpectedly at the tender age of 49. I had never met her, but her husband, (my friend), spoke very highly and very often of her. He is a tender-hearted man of God. He is a man I go to for advice, prayers, and strength. Everytime he speaks to me, it’s as though time stops so I can hear every word. His light shines in his kind smile and the sparkle in his eyes shows his beautiful soul. His wife had to be a wonderful woman to have a man like him by her side.
For a man such as my friend I couldn’t comprehend why he’d have to be going through such heart-break. I was stunned, and speechless when I learned that his wife had died. I wanted to cry for him. To shed tears so he wouldn’t have to, but I couldn’t and that troubled me deeply. It wasn’t until the funeral that it all became clearer.
He conducted the entire ceremony himself. His shoulders back, chin high and strength in his carriage. He spoke with conviction and love. His words cherished and honored his loving wife. He explained how God’s love blessed his marriage and held them together for 27 years.
(I want to share the scripture that my friend used.)
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7,
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
It was then that I allowed my eyes to really look at the casket in front of me. White with gold hinges, delicate orchids, soft carnations and pink iris’ placed all around and draped over the top.
“This is it. There’s no more after this part. The final farewell is coming. She was laid to rest as her soul remains now with God and her memories cherished within her husband, family and friends,” I thought to myself. Realizing that he had to let her go, he had to walk away as life must go on.
I walked back to the truck pondering every thing in my life and all my relationships. How was he able to have so much strength, to hold it together so well? How did he find the strength to walk away after everyone left the grave side? How do you leave your other half behind? Why did every word he spoke seem to be aimed at me? How do you, “be ok” with someone you love passing away? These thoughts bounced around my head like popcorn in a popper.
I thought of each one of my relationships. My Rafe, my kids, my parents, my sister, etc. It could have been anyone of them inside that casket. When God has prepared a place in heaven for you, he will come take you home. These relationships are temporary and once it’s over, its over. There’s no going back.
As for me, I don’t know what I’d do or how I’d push myself forward if I were in my friends shoes. I know I’d seek my faith and find the courage, but I see my family and friends in everything I do from making coffee to smelling the lavender outside my window. It would be a constant reminder of them.
We have to make sure we carry no grudges or anger for those we love, and maybe even those we don’t like so much, because in those moments they’re numbered and they will come to an end. The burden of living life after the passing of someone you knew, is pondering wither we forgave them, said I love you enough or I’m sorry.
You still have time to right the wrongs. When you’re standing in front of their casket, will that grudge even matter? Did they know you loved them? Did they feel the love in your words and in your hugs? Because you won’t get a 2nd chance. Love Keeps No Record Of Wrongs. Give them your love while you still can. Cancer, accidents, age, disease, etc are coming, don’t miss your chance to make it count.
Trust me, you will want the strength to walk away and the heart to carry on with a shining smile and the knowledge knowing they knew how you felt because they got to feel it in your hugs and seen it on your face. Often times we let the petty consume our thoughts and control our moods and behaviors that we some times take it out on the one’s we love.
So while they’re standing in front of us, they’re just a phone call away, a drive down the street, don’t wait for it to happen, make it happen. Love deeply, kiss slowly, and forgive quickly.