I had not been in this funeral home since I was there for my niece Samantha's visitation five and a half years ago. I've spent years driving by this funeral home and looking the other way because it pains me to look at it. That sounds silly coming from a grown woman and it isn't meant to cast judgement on the funeral home or director. The funeral director was really a very kind man who blessed our family back then and again today. It was just an excruciatingly painful time for us all.
Today was different. While it is always difficult to say goodbye to a loved one, it wasn't as sad a farewell. After the funeral and interment were over the family made plans to meet for coffee or dinner at the Tippy Canoe. It's a silly name but a nice restaurant that had room to seat about twenty of us in a somewhat private area. As we all gathered around a few tables and decided to order dinner after all, it struck me how much I enjoyed spending time with my husband's family. As we chatted and caught up I felt so grateful that we were able to spend time together and have a few laughs and fun after a funeral!
I was also thankful for the funeral message given by the young Pastor at Darlys's church (the same church I grew up going to, by the way). It was a message of hope and good news. He was clear about our being on this Earth a short while and that it isn't our good works that will grant us an eternity in Heaven but a saving faith in Jesus. Funerals are an excellent time to ponder such things.
This life is short. Time is fleeting. Today was just another reminder of those truths. I'm grateful for the loved ones we still have with us and for the times we've shared. Especially get-togethers after funerals.