Another Funeral

Today was the funeral of my mother-in-law. A wonderful, almost spring-like, sunny day in November. The church was full and there were lots of flowers - how great to have so many people thinking of her. I picked three apples from her garden an placed them next to the casket, when they carried everything out they put the apples on my father-in-law's grave.

We invited everyone for lunch to the restaurant in the village where they lived and have celebrated pretty much every family celebration there is to celebrate. We were unsure how many would come, so we had more places set than we needed. One table remained empty - the one where Oma and Opa always sat during the parties they gave. The candle was lit, and gently burned down during the afternoon.

I can still hear her voice "Segg bloss!", "Wat hest du aufm Herzen, Deern?", the house still seems eerily lived in, as things are still where she left them the day she had the stroke. Neighbors tell of seeing her in the garden that morning, of her being at the church coffee the week before she died.

The pastor read from Revelation 21: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'"

Update: A friend sent this link of a wonderful choral piece (And I saw a New Heaven by Edgar Bainton) on this reading. And then two evenings later I attend a choir concert, and they sing this same song. It is really beautiful, listen to it!

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