Mr. H's funeral was today. After wading through grief this past week, I expected today to be extremely hard. It wasn't. Although I did tear up at mostly appropriate moments, the crushing load of grief was absent. At least it was for my friends who are also followers of Christ. We mourn his absence, are shocked by how quickly and unexpectedly it happened and feel for his family left behind. Yet even through the welter of emotions, there is hope and joy. Mr. H now sees clearly what is only a dim reflection here on earth. He is face to face with the Creator and one day we will be too.
Although I have held these beliefs my entire life, it is only while walking through a tragedy in a cross-cultural situation that I am able to understand the life-changing potential they bring. My friends from another culture have been rather distraught. They have not wanted to attend the funeral or the visitation(although they have) being fearful of how dark it would be. My friend did not expect the many moments of laughter, even by the widow, at the funeral today. Even though this was one of the best funerals I've ever attended, laughter is not uncommon at a Canadian funeral. We mourn, but we also celebrate the life of our deceased friend or loved one.
I must go to bed, although there is much more rattling around in my head, much of it about death and culture. Perhaps I'll explore that later. I'm going to quickly close with my thankful list. After a week of grieving, I need the reminder.
More of the many gifts I have received:
121. A good night's sleep.
122. Sleeping in undisturbed.
123. Waking up to discover that it was just a dream(that there was a large pond outside my kitchen filled with boa constrictors, crocodiles and a velociraptor).
124. Feeling well rested.
126. Not having to do it all by myself.
127. Living in community.
128. Specific answer to prayer-a pretty dress, that looks good on me and wasn't too expensive.
129. Communal sharing of food.
130. Beautiful uplifting cards from a dear friend.
132. A birthday phone call from Veronica's mom in the Bahamas.
133. A birthday phone call from Kate's mom.
134. So much love poured out on me.
135. The hope we have in glory.