I spent most of last week in North Carolina with activities surrounding the funeral for my mom. She just turned 60 last month and I’m sure she wouldn’t have died so young if my dad hadn’t died at the young age of 56 a few years ago. There was probably a lot more that could have been done to treat the physical problems she had, but even when she said otherwise, it seemed she wanted to go on to be with my dad.
And so on what would have been the fortieth anniversary of their first Valentine’s Day together, we buried mom beside dad in the graveyard behind the church that they started.
Just before she died, mom sat up in her hospital bed, looked into the distance, laughed and said, “hey” — as if she was being greeted by someone very familiar.
This story, along with the incredible outpouring of love and support from family, from the church and from the staff here at Focus on the Family offer a comforting silver lining to the gray cloud of my mom’s death.
But it is still a cloud. I appreciate how passionately C.S. Lewis grieved the loss of his wife even though he held on to the hope of a reunion in heaven. I’m reminded again that God did not originally create humans to experience the separation of death. That is the gray cloud of our fallen state. And the pain and great loss of death continues to weigh on us all.
The primary silver lining that gives us all hope is that Christ has ultimately conquered death and holds out to us the promise of an eternal life that will swallow in magnitude the all-too-short chapter of our time in mortal bodies.