Today is funeral day - My grandma-in-law passed away on August 1st after a 6-mth battle with colon cancer. It is a blessing, really - she was too old for chemo, too frail for radation, and despite surgery, the cancer had spread. Moved to a nursing facility (which I lovingly refer to as "Geriatric Jail"), she was quite unhappy and even tried to ESCAPE twice! (LOVE that moxy!) So going home to Jesus, her husband, her son, and her granddaughter, Julia, is truly a reason to celebrate.
Despite everyone knowing she is "better off," there is a hole in our hearts. She was a mother, a grandma, a great-grandma, a guardian, a daughter, a sister, a friend. She is reunited with many of her loved ones, yes, but still many live here on Earth and feel the loss.
My favorite "death" poem was one that my Aunt, Great Annie, loved as well - because as long as we keep the memories of our loved ones close to our hearts, their death is nothing at all...
Death Is Nothing At All
"Death is nothing at all...
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me the easy way
which you always used. Laugh as we always laughed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be the household word it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was;
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is past; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before -
Only better, infinitely happier, and forever..."
--words attributed to Carmelite Monastery, County Waterford, Ireland