We recently had the honor of attending the funeral of a well-respected and long-time parishioner at our church. He was a doctor in the community, as well; raised 9 children, and had been living out his days
of retirement as an active husband, father, grandfather, and fellow Christian.
While my heart had been simply aching for his beloved wife and children as they prepared to say their last good-byes, it was through the innocence and beauty of my own child, that I was reminded of something so true to our Faith and so important in life.
One of my older sons was asked to serve this funeral. Upon hearing that, my sweet, six year old daughter exclaimed, “Oh, Mommy! May we all go to the funeral? Please? I’ve only ever gotten to go to one!”
She said this with such joy, for hers was not a heart clouded by sorrow, nor human frailty. To her, this innocent child of God, when someone dies, it is a wonderful occasion because they are going to be with Jesus, in Heaven!
She thought not of the memories which would tug at the hearts of this gentleman’s family for months to come. She thought not of the loneliness his wife would endure, after having laid down beside the same man for 53 years of her life; and then having him there, no more. She thought only of one thing: that this man, who had served God so faithfully in his life on earth, would now be blessed to enter into His Kingdom…and for this, she was rejoicing! She was so happy about it that she just had to be a part of it! She wanted to attend his funeral as a celebration of his new life, not as a mourning of his former one here on earth.
I was thankful for my wise daughter in that moment. And, because of her, I too, was able to feel joy for this elderly friend of ours. He was going home! This truth made even the memories and the thoughts of his family seem more bearable. The tears that had been welling up inside, now mingled with tears of joy, not just sadness.
When we arrived at the church, it was standing room only. We took places in the balcony. From there, one has such a grand view of Our Lord in His Tabernacle! I thanked Him for the blessing that this man and his family have been in my life.
Also from there, I could see the wife of the deceased.
And…just like my little girl…
She was smiling.
Copyright 2011 Judy Dudich