Death: remembering in a celebration of Life and Love

Posted: 5th August 2011 by Yolanda Wong in General, Love

It’s scary how much junk a person can accumulate in a lifetime. During my spring cleaning, I have actually succeeded in filling ten complete boxes of stuff to be put away into the garage! Sentimentalism? Maybe. I am unable to throw them away, even though they are completely useless! Can you imagine, I still have reading notes from my University sophomore year! Among them, are things that I have always been looking for and thought that I have lost, things that I have never thought I possessed, things that remind me of some awkward, pleasant moments of my past, and there are things that made me recall some lovely people that have passed away.

Saturday, November 24th, 2001 at 11:00 am: A Celebration of Life and Love: in memory of … It was the end of fall, a frisky wind blown past my face and the last of autumn leaves had fallen. Sad, because I never had the chance to say good bye, yet celebrating in joy, because we know who holds tomorrow and he has been taken back to our Heavenly home. As years go by, I can still sometimes hear the music of that day resonating in the air: “(…) what a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grieves to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer…” “(…) I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches, and I know he watches me.”

March 6th, 2010 at 13:00 pm: In memory of…
It was the end of a long and sad winter. She was one among the many loved ones that we have lost during that season. Even though the temperature forced us still to wear winter coats and boots, the room was hot and stuffy. Chairs had to be constantly added because of the people that kept rushing in. That’s when you realize how that person is truly appreciated by many during her lifetime. Yes, friends and family came to mourn, but mostly they came to remember her kindness, her selfless devotion to God, to church and to her family. We sang her favourite hymns, we read her favourite bible passages, and we listened to the love of her life, her husband give the eulogy. As the lyrics of “We will meet again” flown in the air, we finally said our last goodbyes by imagining her sitting among angels and smiling at us.

It’s a bit morbid to think that I can actually remember more the details of the funerals than the ones of the weddings that I have assisted.  There is a perfectly good reason for that. At a wedding: everyone wishes the newly formed couple the best in their future life, and yet you can almost always hear the mixed atmosphere clouding over the banquet. Voices complaining about the food, the music, the reception hall, discussions about how much money guests have given, wagers on how long the mariage is going to last are definitely a part of the entertainment. All in all, very festive, but superficial. On the contrary, at a funeral, most people will be at their best and demonstrate an utter respect to the defunt.

Each time I looked at that motionless body one last time, I have finally realized that person is no more. At that moment, all the unsaid words, all the quarrels, all the funny jokes between us are forever put to rest. Life has decided to put a final point to his story.

How could I not remember the details of such an important event in a person’s life? Not remembering them is an equivalent of not remembering the ending of a book or the last episode of a long run tv series. After all, every funeral makes people ponder on their own unevitable ending and maybe reflect on the life that they have led till so far.

“But we would not have you ignorant, brethen, concerning them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died adn rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds , to meet the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18