Tag Archive: funeral


As I mentioned in my previous post, my Aunt Juanita’s funeral was last week. I wrote about my uncle, Jack,  in a post when he died the first week in April.  Our son, Cameron, took this picture of Aunt Juanita at Jack’s funeral with the flag from his casket. After he took the picture, I told her I would come to see her soon. But I never got the chance.

A couple of days later, she stumbled and fell. No bones were broken, but we think she had at least one mini stroke. She became bed-ridden shortly after that. She was coherent some of the time, but she had to be fed and helped by a nurse. It was not long before she could no longer walk to the bathroom by herself. I wanted to go see her, but I was not sure if she would recognize me or be able to have a conversation.

It has been hard on Dad, watching his oldest sister deteriorate. He did not want her to linger if she no longer had her faculties. A couple of weeks after Jack’s funeral, Dad called her to talk about getting things in order pertaining to Jack’s will. At the end of the conversation, Juanita said she wanted to ask Dad something.

“Where’s Jack? Is Jack dead?”

Unfortunately, she did linger after that. From what my parents have told me, they never knew if Juanita would know who they were when they visited on Wednesdays. Sometimes she was coherent and other times she seemed to not have a clue. Which was doubly hard on Dad. He and I talked about praying for her and not knowing what to pray for. We simply prayed that God’s will be done.

Two weekends ago we got the call from Mom that Juanita had passed away. Well, not so much passed away as simply went to be with Jack. They were married for 68 years. When Jack  died, the thought was in the back of all our minds that she might not be able to live without him. Though she said before Jack died that she wanted to try to live alone if he died first.

Naturally, I’ve been recalling memories of Jack and Juanita. They were a natural pair – deeply in love, and devoutly Christian. I think she was re-living their marriage the whole time and her body just had not given up yet. On some level she wanted to keep going, but the urge to be with Jack was just too strong.

There is something sweet and precious about a love that is so strong that the couple cannot be separated for very long. But, at the same time, there is something rather tragic about it.

Peace be with you.

I attended the funeral of an old family friend yesterday morning. She lived across the street from my parents. I went to school with her two sons and daughter. She and my mom have been close for years. Carolyn was cremated, so it was a memorial service – a very nice and appropriate service.

At some point during the service, as the pastor was talking, the sound of children talking and laughing came through the wall as they went out the door from the hallway into the playground. My first thought was how interruptive it was. But then I began to think that it was rather fitting. A festive counterpoint to the somber proceedings on the other side of the wall.

Carolyn’s grandchildren were beginning to fidget from having to sit still so long. Hearing the children in the hallway did not help. It was as if God was illustrating that as one life ends, another begins. Reassuring those assembled that Carolyn is still with us in a spiritual sense.

It is odd to me that funerals can seem like reunions. But then, funerals are, after all, more for the living than the departed. Which makes the interruption of the children more poignant. The cycle continues. Love comes into the world, even as the loved depart from it. And all will meet again.

God speaks in many ways. We just need to listen.

Peace be with you.

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