My friend, Kat has some great thoughts this morning…I had to share!
I think I have a new catchphrase to pass on to my kids and grandkids.
We did not have many opportunities growing up to attend funerals, really, we were quite protected. I can count on one hand the number I attended before becoming an adult. As an adult, I have a sense of responsibility to my friends to support them through their grief,
Seriously…read it. It’s so good!!!
From an article by Deirdre Sullivan.
Deirdre Sullivan grew up in Syracuse, N.Y., and traveled the world working odd jobs before attending law school at Northwestern University. She’s now a freelance attorney living in Brooklyn. Sullivan says her father’s greatest gift to her and her family was how he ushered them through the process of his death.
The first time he said it directly to me, I was 16 and trying to get out of going to calling hours for Miss Emerson, my old fifth grade math teacher. I did not want to go. My father was unequivocal. “Dee,” he said, “you’re going. Always go to the funeral. Do it for the family.”
So my dad waited outside while I went in. It was worse than I thought it would be: I was the only kid there. When the condolence line deposited me in front of Miss Emerson’s…
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I needed this tonight…I’m pretty good at not judging another in a rough season, I need to be kinder to myself, and not judge my entire life by a winter season. This is so good!
There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn to not judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall.
When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.
The second son said no – it was covered with green buds and full of promise.
The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.
The last son disagreed with all of them…
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You’ve been gone 7.5 years now, but it still seems like yesterday to me. I have not completely recovered from the loss of your voice on the other end of the phone, or your sweet notes in the mail, or your hugs and reassuring words. There are days that I ache to hear you chide me with Romans 8:28…”Lyn, we KNOW that ALL THINGS work together for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose…and that means you, honey!”
Nothing seemed to shake you, Mom. When your young granddaughter broached the subject of death with you, you didn’t even flinch…you spoke of that day with a sense of assurance and hope in your voice, that drove the fear away from a little girl’s heart. You couldn’t have known that she would need that bold example in days to come, but God did, and since your heart was set on Him, He filled you to overflowing with His love and grace. It was a natural consequence, then, that the hope you had would spill out onto others when you spoke, because from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Even in your suffering, you smiled, and trusted God, and looked for your reward with Him. While your earthly body was dying, folks would come in to cheer you up, and they would leave in tears, being the ones blessed by your example of strength and peace.
I like to think of you and dad and Kevin’s Mom, sitting together with Joseph and Momma Mary, talking about your kids, and praying together for us. It helps me to know that you were a prayer warrior here, and now that you have seen Jesus, you have perspective, and can pray with knowledge, and I believe you do.
Pray for us tonight, Momma, and I’ll remember your whispered reassurance; “He makes ALL things work together for us who love Him, and are called to His purpose…and that means YOU”.
I love you, and I miss you tons.