This past week was one of loss to a few of the people around me. Three of my co-workers and friends lost family members within 2 days of each other - a brother-in-law, a sister-in-law, and a mother. It brought to memory those I have lost in my own life. I felt for each of them, and hope I was able to offer comfort in some small way.
Each of the losses was a blow to those involved in different way. In many ways each was in a different season of their life. One was a young father in the summer of his life who left behind a wife and children. Losses such as this one can be especially hard because of the life that was yet to be lived and those left behind who are so young. Another was a little older, in the autumn of life, but, like fall there is still so much time and life left. The third was a mother in the winter of her life, with spring, summer, and autumn living in her memories. She had endured trials of health and there are those who would say it was a blessing that she passed away, and perhaps, in a way, it was. But, her loss was still felt just as deeply by those she left behind.
I did not know any of those who died personally, but I know they were loved deeply by their families and friends. I was actually able to learn a little more about one of these special people as I was asked to play the piano at the funeral. It was funny and touching to listen to stories about the mother - who was apparently full of spunk during her life - and to see the laughter and the tears that her children, grand-children, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren shared. Talk about a legacy of love!
It brought back memories of my own grandparents and their lives and legacies and their passing. Many of the thoughts and feelings expressed today were similar to those felt and expressed by my own family members. Even the songs and those who sang them brought back memories. "Families Can Be Together Forever" sung by younger family members, including great-grandchildren, echoed similar scenes in my memory. I've always loved the song "In the Garden"for many reasons, one of those being that it was sung at funerals of my own loved ones. To hear this song sung by the older grandchildren with obvious love, affection, and emotion stirred those same things in my own heart. Though it was the first funeral I played the piano for and I was nervous, it was truly an honor to be able to help this family honor their mother and grandmother.
One of the things the events of this past week did was remind me how grateful I am for my knowledge of the plan of salvation and happiness the Lord has presented us, and the promise of eternal families if we will just live worthy of it. What a blessing it is to have the Gospel in my life and to have a family that has been sealed together. Kind of makes all of the day to day squabbles, difficulties, misunderstandings, and just plain STUFF seem so small. In the eternal perspective these are just detours to our final destination.
Anyway, I guess I've waxed philosophical long enough for one entry. (My apologies to your poor tired eyes! :-) )
One final thought - take the time to tell those you care for that you love them - often. You can never say "I love you" too many times.