My husband got word that a dear woman from our previous church died over the weekend. She’s flown down to San Diego at the very end of September and we spent an afternoon and evening with her and her family who had joined her on a final vacation. We were included in this precious family time because my husband was her favorite pastor and she’d asked him to perform the funeral.
I hadn’t seen her for years and to see her in a wheelchair with an oxygen tube was jarring, especially when contrasted with her cheerful demeanor. I’m not sure I’ve ever been with someone as peaceful and joyous in the face of impending death. It was hard to even believe that she was dying.
(Then again, we are all dying, aren’t we? We just don’t usually notice because we do so in such small increments. We don’t have to acknowledge this unavoidable fact.)
I come to a full stop here, unsure of where I was going with this blog post. What more is there to say when you talk about someone passing from this life to the next? Do I really plan to prattle on about the week’s plan, about how my husband will be flying to Seattle for the funeral?
I just can’t.
Instead, I will carry the awareness of the shortness of life with me into the coming week as I think about our friend’s family and whisper prayers for peace and strength and comfort for them.