I listened carefully and with much openness when the husband shared his heart about his dear wife who lay peacefully in the coffin. She had been a strong lady, faithful in all her ways … right to the final days.
It was hard for me to contain myself (but I tried) – what does it mean for a man to say goodbye to his best friend and wife for 38 years? what goes on in the mind when the flood of memories come?
sure, we are told we will meet again. But right now, in this moment … there is a “pause” – a “silence”. When I heard how he wished that they could have another more 38years together … it just broke me. There was nothing packaged in the sharing. God was there listening to his pain. Jesus was there – this was not easy, not easy at all.
There were many people tonight, She had blessed many lives. She was the best shepherd some have experienced. But for that one moment, all that faded for a while .. because what I was hearing was a man who lost his best friend – faithful companion all these years, one who even helped him along the way when he was merely “comfortable” as a Christian to be a “comforting Christian”.
Many songs were sung. Prayers were offered. Hugs given. Words of comfort. And gestures of support. But as I drove back home, the picture of a man who loved his wife so much saying “goodbye” with heartfelt honesty of missing her sticks with me till now. I can’t explain how and why it does. I’m grateful there was a moment for him to express himself – and somehow, I know the gentle Spirit was there somehow moving in him, amongst the family and with us.
The vulnerability was no sign of weakness – no … not at all. It was a sign of strength when one can acknowledge a deep sadness – a genuine sadness of losing one he loved and was loved in return. It’s when we come to this place – and we honor these moments of vulnerability … God’s grace breaks through our hearts which may have been numbed by 101 factors. Oh how we need God’s grace …
There’s no need to hurry to be “okay” … there’s no need to “be strong” by our own efforts – it’s in our weakest moment .. suddenly we realize God’s hand holding us …
I guess, all of us have our own ways of grieving. Very Often we don’t know how. We wonder how should we behave? We maybe told what to feel or how we should feel? But it seems to me … in moments like these … God meets us where ever we are … and it’s REALLY “okay”.
One moment stuck with me tonight. A man’s appreciation of his beloved wife who is now “with the Lord” – the raw feelings and tears he couldn’t contain. The unrehearsed words which captured the special bond they have together.
This is the fourth memorial service I’ve attended lately. Each night when I drive home, surely one moment or two .. sticks with me and it becomes God’s ingredients transformed into food for my soul. Tonight, this was THE moment for me. God was there, God is here …