Monday, February 9, 2009

Death's gift

A few days before my nana died, I had the chance to speak to a preacher friend of mine about death. I shared our conversation with my mom, and she asked me to write it down. My nana's minister read it at her memorial service. Here's what I wrote:

How lonely the past few weeks have been for us, and how the loneliness will continue in those times when we recount our favorite moments and we wonder if we can go on without ever experiencing them again. I have prayed for the right prayers, the answers to them, and the ability to accept a response that might break my heart. There have been moments when I wanted to pray for life, but in praying for life, I denied her Heaven. Yet in praying for Heaven, I denied myself time with an earthly angel. There wasn't much comfort in these contradictory petitions.

Thankfully, I have learned on this journey through faith. I credit a friend for sharing this with me, so in hopes of offering comfort, I am passing it on to you.

Instead of thinking of death as a loss, consider it a gift. For without the knowledge that death is at all times waiting for us, we would fail to cherish the moments that we have with those we love.

This is hard to accept at this moment, but then there will be moments when I am with those I love dearly, and I will value and treasure and hold every second that I am able to spend with them, every smile, every pearl of laughter, and even every dissonant yelp.

And as much as I want to ward death from my dear ones, there is a part of me that will bow down and honor and respect its right to take those I love away, for in that taking, there is a giving--a smile, a pearl of laughter, a dissonant yelp--that I will have every second of a lifetime to hold and value and treasure.

I have found that to be so true these past few months. Faced with Lily's death, I have held the lives of my loved ones that much tighter. I watched the video of little Eliot, 99 Balloons. After watching it, no one was home and Gabriel was sleeping. When he woke up, I cherished the play time we had together and sent a quick "thank you" up to God for my little boy and his big sisters. Here's that video. (Get a tissue before you watch it.)

I know my story has affected others in the same way that I have been affected. I've heard personal stories of how mothers have hugged their children a little tighter, thankful for their health, their lives, their laughter. Gift #1 from Lily.

1 comment:

  1. i lost...

    (only people who are nerds will get that. it's a game, "you cry, you lose")