Friday, October 1, 2010

We're home now from my husband's grandmother's funeral. Both Seth and I were surprised by how emotional we were during the service and burial. I guess I (and I think Seth as well) had been looking at his grandmother's passing as more of a happy event than a sad one, simply because she had been very much looking forward to Heaven for the last decade of her life. It was all she talked about... and we really are glad for her to enjoying all that was waiting for her. But today I was reminded again that tears come for many reasons, not just pure sadness. I'm not even sure I could explain some of the tears that passed between us today. I know that the recent death of Seth's mom surely contributed... being in the same funeral home, seeing our church filled with flower arrangements again, being at the same cemetery again, only one month later. It all reminded me, and I'm sure many of the other moaners today, of someone who still seems oddly missing. Looking at Grandma Berg's 3 other children standing together, it seemed as though Christine could have just been standing behind someone taller than her, or finding a place in the background to blend in as she was so good at doing. But the reality is that she was not there. She was not there crying with us... she is on the other side, part of Heaven's welcome committee.

Someone joked that Christine must have spent this past month in Heaven lobbying for her mother's release from the bonds of this earth. And I can imagine Grandma Berg's surprise when she arrived to find her daughter already there! "How'd you get here first?" I can hear her saying. =)

I have news about funerals and calling hours: it's exhausting. If you've never experienced them before, I'm just informing you. My family in California did not follow the same traditional funeral protocol that we do here in New York, so I had never experienced it before and therefore did not know what to expect. So in case you, like me, did not know, now you do: by the time it's all said and done, the family members are totally spent.

Maybe it is the fatigue or maybe I am in a pessimistic frame of mind, but today I feel as though life is a series of knowing people, loving people, and burying people. If Seth and I live a typical life span, we will spend the next 50 to 60 years, doing those three things over and over again. I sat in the church today, looking around at people around me and thought, You could be next. I could be next. Either I'll bury you, or you'll bury me. There will be more burying though. Sometimes, and it's been the case lately thankfully, we know the person lying in the casket had accepted Christ as Saviour and were in Heaven. And that is good. Sometimes, sadly, we don't know and they might be in Hell. And that is bad. In both cases, though, the rest of us stay here, and repeat the process of knowing, loving and burying.

I really do not think this is all morbid negativity... maybe it's just part of growing up (can I still be "growing up" at 26 yrs. old?) and accepting mortality. The mortality of others and myself, and the fact that life truly is fragile. It's a cliche but it's a true one. Life is fragile and not to be taken for granted. Life is precious.

Along with the grim thoughts, I have also been overwhelmingly grateful today. Grateful to my husband's grandmother and to the God who saved her and directed her steps. It's baffling to think about the effect one person can have on so many. I know that each of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many other people who were touched by her life could probably tell better than I of how important she was. But for myself, it think it's amazing how a girl born in 1921 in Utica, Ny, who trusted Christ as Savior in 1942 would influence the life of a girl born in 1983 in Southern California. How did she influence me? She was instrumental in her husband's conversion, who then helped her to raise 4 children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The third child in that family grew up with a firm Christian foundation, and then married a preacher and had a family with him. The youngest child in that family, who was strikingly handsome, I must add, grew up in a godly home and was taught the Bible and it's truths every day. He then met the girl from all the way across the country and lost his mind long enough to marry her. Grandma Berg did not really know me, or usually remember that I was Seth's wife when we visited her. But by virtue of the fact that my husband has a goodly heritage, and therefore so do my children, I am so grateful to her.

"For the hand that rocks the cradle - Is the hand that rules the world" - William Ross Wallace

Never underestimate the power of a godly mama. =)

What could be more precious
than Grandma's special love?
She always seems to know the things
That we are fondest of.
She's always ready with a smile
Or a loving word of praise,
Her laughter always brightens up
The cloudiest of days...
She has an understanding heart
that encourages and cheers.
The love she gives so freely
Grows deeper with the years.
Her wisdom and devotion
are blessings from above-
Nothing could be more precious
than Grandma's special love.



Amy ♥ DailyPleasures said...

Sending you a hug and praying for you today. I know how vulnerable it is when your emotions are raw and open. Time does heal. Although with my father-in-law, once we had reckoned with the cancer, even though his death was sooner than we imagined, it was still a blessing for him. I'm sure your mother-in-law's passing being such a shock will always leave you with an empty feeling and a question mark. Thank God you have a good man to stand beside you as you sorrow together. God is putting you through the fire. Growing up still happens to old people, I think. But you will come forth as gold. ♥

Mrs. Reverend Doctor said...

I bet I have been to well over 100 funerals by now, I cry at most everyone!

Kayte said...

Amy, thank you for your prayers! Our family does seem to be put through the fire lately. Sicne G'ma Berg's passing on Mon., my sister in law was in a head on car crash (thankfully and miraculously she is sore but okay) and just today, a nephew collapsed and went into a seisure. We're still unsure of what is going on with him.

Mrs. Rev., as much as I always try to keep myself from crying, if nothing else you greive for those around you who are really hurting. So I guess that is right to do, despite the running of mascara. ;)

Korina said...

Who collapsed??

Will be praying for you all!

Kayte said...

Korina, it was Samantha's youngest.

Korina said...

=( Will be praying for him!!

The Doll Family said...

Kayte....Jesus must sure trust you and your family - knowing He can put you through the fire and that you will allow Him to mold you. I admire you.

Jamiee said...

Kayte, I hear you on the the protocols of a funeral. When Corey grandfather just passed away the funeral wasnt at all what I was use to. It was more formal and so forth with visiting hours for just family, then friends. Then the service the next day. It was a very nice service and I look at things a lot lot different.