RSS Feed

Tag Archives: death

Transfiguration

Posted on

the-transfiguration-of-christ-141783

My Aunt mentioned a phenomenon where once someone dies, the bad memories melt away and you are left with only the good, inspiring, and uplifting memories.

I absolutely love this idea.  It reminds me of childbirth.  It was the worst physical pain I’ve ever felt, and people told me that the memory of the pain would become fuzzy in the glow of the new life that had sprung from it.  It is like that with Nanny.  Now that she is in God’s glory, many of my distressing moments with her have melted away.  She was often in utter confusion and worry, but I know that this wasn’t the true Nanny.  This was the Nanny of dementia, of lost boundaries, of worry and preoccupation.  The sum of the not-so-great things in her life had left its scar on her.  But that mark was erased when Nanny  was made complete in the presence of her shepherd.  She had become everything her creator had intended, and we are able to remember the good, the strong, the glimpses of her living completely in God’s will.

Isn’t a beautiful thought that one day those that saw the worst of us will mostly remember the best?

 

 

Lenten Musings and March 4

Posted on

40 Days.  May I write it out for 40 days?  Will I commit the time and energy?

I started blogging for lent several years ago and have lapsed for several years as well.  What makes this year different?  My 92 year old grandmother, Nanny, died on March 4, and I have spent the better part of every day since writing: writing obit, writing Eulogy, and writing the perfect FaceBook post to announce to friends and family.

In the Facebook post, I punned March 4 as “march forth” as I had seen elsewhere on the internet, but it seemed especially poignant for her.

The 1980s-1990s Nanny was a swiss army knife that could do anything–artistically, professionally, domestically: drawing, crafting, working under 20 Army Commanding Colonels, her fried chicken and potato salad–nuff said!! The late 1990s-millennial Nanny seemed to have forgotten herself and all that she had or could accomplish.  As someone so deeply religious, she held on tooth and nail and displayed a lot of fear and worry in her life.  I only have the eldest grandchild’s point of view–which does not display the complexity and messiness I now know life holds as a 40 something adult.  I’ve decided not to wonder why, but to focus on the fact that Nanny’s worries were soothed and quieted as she “marched forth” into the arms of her Savior, Jesus of Nazareth.  I just know it in my heart.  Honestly, the whole paradox of Nanny’s faith and worry in the same body makes me feel better about having doubts in my faith journey.  It is okay to believe but hold back; to turn it over to God, and take it back; to trust, but doubt.  These things make us human.  God made us, and through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, God understands.

Writing someone’s end-of-life summary and being tapped as the designated family member to do so–while a daunting task due to its significance and and magnitude–is an honor and a privilege.  The part I like to laugh about is that no one in the family can cross me because I always have the last word.  The honor is being trusted to craft the narrative of someone’s years.  When I feel unsure that the person would want me to share information or draw conclusions I’ve drawn, I remind myself that funerals are for the living–the dead have gone on to glory–somewhere waaaay less petty than Earth.  The privilege is forcing myself to contemplate the “space between” birth and death.  Does what I am doing matter?  How am I using my time? Am I squandering time?  Am I just sucking wind?  How do I look from outside myself?

I hope blogging again will give me a jump off point for the space between.  I know that God will sanctify my time if I stay focused on God and God’s will for me.

space between