this morning i attended a funeral. the grandmother of my Godsisters -- mrs. kirk, as i called her -- passed away. in some ways, funerals have taken on a whole new meaning for me. now that i've had to plan out the details. give the remarks. sit in the front row. as i sat in my seat, i was struck by the fact that whether a person has lived a full life or has been sick for years or dies suddenly, a loss is a loss. even for those of us who fully believe that there's life beyond physical death.
while i experienced my share of tears, it was a beautiful service for a beautiful woman. a woman who exuded grace and love. and a woman who i truly admired. she was a wife. a mother. a teacher for more than 25 years. a great cook. a great card player. and she encouraged her granddaughters to "play the game of life successfully, effectively, and ethically, even in a world where the men were born with four aces in hand."
while many people know me as the one who can be lively and tell stories and laugh loudly, there's a part of me that wishes i was like mrs. kirk. that i had a quiet confidence. an unspoken steadiness. sophisticated beauty. a tender voice known for its wisdom.
mrs. kirk and her husband, dr. kirk, were married for more than 63 years. (in fact, he made sure to mention during his remarks that they were married for "63 and a half years.") when i looked at them together, i saw the kind of marriage i hoped to have for myself. one of commitment. and devotion. and love. a marriage that had built a beautiful family with lawyers and engineers and doctors. a marriage that had built traditions and instilled values. a marriage that made the world a better place. a marriage that truly represented the intertwining of two lives.
she and her husband set the example.
during her eulogy, her pastor turned to dr. kirk and spoke of how intertwined their lives had been. how she feared the thought of being without him. that the renewing of their vows last summer, on their 63rd wedding anniversary, had been such a special way to tell her that she'd never go without him. that at a time when she felt that her illness was such a burden, her husband reminded her of his undying love. and the pastor spoke of how while it may be difficult, dr. kirk is giving a gift to mrs. kirk by being the one to bear the loneliness, as opposed to the other way around.
wow. perhaps i can look at my own situation like this. perhaps my faith was stronger and able to bear this level of loss in a way that Jarronn could not have. would not have. perhaps my continuing on is me giving him a gift. the gift of dying and resting at his happiest -- successful in faith. in love. in friendship. in health. in career. in living life passionately.