Funerals

Today I went to a funeral. It was not someone I knew, but the mother of one of my husband’s closest friends.  When her son got up to speak he read a poem that is apparently popular, but not one I had heard.   Here it is, with the credit to the author who has a book out by the same name.

The Dash Poem
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came her date of  birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Lately I have been thinking about dying. I am not sure why, but I have been. I guess because I am getting up there in years, even though I do not want to admit it.

I have thought about my family and wonder. I wonder if they all know how much I love them. That I love them all equally, want the best for them all and pray blessings on their lives.  I wonder a lot about a lot of things.

When this poem was read I wondered some more. Wondered if my life has made the difference that God wanted me to make when He made me. The circumstances HE allowed in my life, did I respond as HE wanted? The students I taught ESL to, did I make a difference in their lives, not just with English.

How have I impacted my world for HIM?

If My dash ends tomorrow, will my family remember me as this family remembered their mom? Will my kids all get along and work out things together, or will they be at odds like some there today?

Will others remember me in a positive way?

It hit me today more than before since this has been on my mind lately. Will my “dash” be worthwhile to be on my tombstone? or should it just be left off?

Will yours?

We have one life to live, we have no idea how long or short it will be. As the old verse goes:

Only one life will soon be past
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Let’s make our dash count for HIM.

Some Anniversaries Hurt

Rev. William G. Lewis

This year is a milestone anniversary year. A year I thought would not get to me since it has been “so long”. It has, and the last few months have been worse than ever.

This week was the 10th anniversary of my first husband’s death. You think that you have done all your grieving, all your pain has lessened and all the really missing gone. You have a wonderful husband now who treats you great and even wants pics of your first husband on the wall. Why would it his so hard? But is does.

On top of that, the very day this week, the day that is the 10 year mark, you find out about what could possible be some really bad health problems in a daughter. Some are connected to one of the same areas your husband dealt with. Then you find out that his grave stone has to be moved. Normally this would not be a major upset, but this week it made the wound in my heart even bigger.

Torn, hurting and trying to deal with it all homesickness for my kids became huge.

Tears.

Fears.

Hurts.

Texas heat headaches added to the mess.

The next morning I get out my Bible and feel the pain as I open it. What is my reading for the day?

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do he rest who have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

15 by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

16 Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

17 Then we who are alive and remain will be in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

I noticed a few things. First it does not say not to grieve, just not like to world does. They have no hope, I know I will see him again. He will meet my current husband and know that Rick is the one that he prayed for over the last year of his life. Willie died “in Jesus”.

We also have a big event to look forward to. When the rapture comes (“we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”)

There is comfort in those words. I grieve again, but with the knowing that the end has not come, there is more to the story, more to life and all those who are “in Jesus” will be together.

One thing it also makes me think of, the so many that are not going to be there when the rapture comes. The tribulation, judgment, and hell’s fire wait them. Texas is hot, I mean hot. We have been over 100 for days and days. I can’t stand it. Yet I know it is nothing compared to Hell fire.

Praise God no one has to face that, God has made the way to have the assurance of salvation and of joining Him in the sky.

Do you know Jesus? Do you have the assurance?  Will you be meeting me, Willie and all those who have gone before “in Jesus”?  If not please see here.

Grief? Yes.

Sorrow? Yes

Raw emotions? yes

Hopelessness? NO!