Just after Christmas I wrote my mother’s obituary. She was still alive at the time with no hint her life had but a few days remaining. I told my sister-in-law I felt Mom would not make it to another Christmas, and I didn’t want to be caught by surprise as when my father died. I don’t remember being prompted by any premonition. I just wanted to get some thoughts and facts on paper with plenty of time for rewrites. Three weeks later she died quietly in her sleep.
Death is inevitable for all living things. That perhaps is a part of the definition of life. Life includes birth and death and without these two there cannot be life in the sense we know it. Yet in spite of our knowledge death will come, we greet it with great ceremony and sorrow that reflects our own sense of loss.
So it was with my mother. She outlived almost all her friends. Those gathered at the funeral were mostly children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces, and a handful of friends who had known her in that small rural community from years long past. Tears were shed, but there were also a lot of smiles and more than one echo of soft laughter as memories were shared of how she touched the lives of so many.
For over ninety-three years she had been family member, friend, and neighbor. Now all that was left on earth was a cold, earthen vessel of embalmed flesh and all the memories in the hearts of those left behind.
The grief shared by those gathered in that small chapel was overwhelmed by the joy all felt for the woman they had loved for so many years as she no longer suffered from early stage dementia or arthritic hands and feet. They rather celebrated the freedom she now enjoyed in a setting the rest of us can only see through faith.
I Corinthians 15:22-26 For just as all people die because of their union with Adam, in the same way all will be raised to life because of their union with Christ. But each one will be raised in proper order: Christ, first of all; then, at the time of his coming, those who belong to him. Then the end will come; Christ will overcome all spiritual rulers, authorities, and powers, and will hand over the Kingdom to God the Father. For Christ must rule until God defeats all enemies and puts them under his feet. The last enemy to be defeated will be death. (Today’s English Version)
I have written in earlier months about the dynamics of older adult life. With the death of my mother, the last of her generation in the family into which she married seventy-three years ago, the desire to keep writing about older adults has lost some of its appeal. No doubt I will return to the subject perhaps in the near future as I myself look at my own soon-to-begin eighth decade. For now however, my writing will take a different turn.
With this last and delayed submission, this blog will come to a close. Perhaps there are those who will look at some previous entry and find something worthy to read. If I live long enough and write here once more, other submissions may also pique their interest. As always portions of the Holy Bible will continue to be the foundation for my worldview, and they will be my starting point for understanding the world in which I live.
God bless you who have taken time to read these random words. May you find some benefit in them in the days to come.