It was a beautiful January day as the shovels of dirt went back into the ground, marking the final stop of my moms journey here on earth.
It is still difficult to process the feelings I had that day.
The last years of my mom’s life were not kind to her. In the last month’s she was suffering from end stage Alzheimer’s. When I went to visit most times she did not know I was there.
The best way I can describe what I felt that day was acceptance.
That no matter who we may become or what we may accomplish we all end our journey here on earth in much the same way.
Our struggles to resist the inevitable cease, not with a shout but with a whisper, death comes finally to us all.
Some see this as an event to be celebrated, some feel a sense of loss and grief, and struggle to make sense of it all. Some do not feel anything at all. You live, you die that’s it
But what if there is more than just a beginning and end?
What if there is more than just grief and sorrow that bring no closure? What if there really is cause to celebrate?
Even though I struggled with understanding my emotions following my moms death, it wasn’t because I didn’t have them. I did.
I felt sorrow at her passing, but I was not overwhelmed with grief.
I knew in my heart she was now enjoying the best days ever. Free from Alzheimer’s and sickness, and most of all death.
And hope that this was not goodbye, but as my dad said in one of my last conversations with him “See you later”. We can have hope that it is not the end.
In first I Thessalonians 4:13 we read,
“ Brothers and sisters, we want you to be fully informed about those who have fallen asleep in death so that you will not be overwhelmed with grief like those who live outside of the true hope”.
Paul goes on to explain what this true hope is, that because Jesus died and rose again in the same way God will bring with Jesus all who died through Him. And not only that, on the final day of planet earth as we know it, all of us those who remain and those who passed on will rise to be reunited, with us and Him for all eternity. This Paul says is the basis of true hope.
He ends with this “So comfort one another with this hope, and encourage one another with these words”.
The picture above was taken on that beautiful January day at the cemetery where my mom was laid to rest. On either side of the walkway are graves of others who have ended their journey here on earth, as I was looking at the Cross that stands at the end of the walkway these words came to me.
“Where you go from here depends on what you do with this”
It was God’s intention that we would have the opportunity to be a part of the celebration that Paul describes. A time of reunion that will never end. Where he will wipe away every tear, No more death, no more crying, no more mourning, no more pain. (Revelations 21:4) He intended that we would find forgiveness and grace through the Cross, the symbol of suffering and the death of His Son that makes it all possible. But each of us must decide what we will do with the offer that has been made.
We can choose to accept Him as Lord and Savior or we can reject Him.
“Where you go from here depends on what you do with this.”
The choice is yours, what will you choose?