A hush settles over the congregation while each member arises in reverent anticipation. With bowed head and heavy heart, the long-awaited moment arrives. The closed casket is brought slowly forward, accompanied by quiet music, interspersed with the repressed sobs of the grieving.
Moments turn into hours as words become remembrances of days gone by; the happiness shared, words of anger regretted, arms and hands embraced in love, and times of truth treasured once again. If only we could see each other one more time!
A flower petal drops from the spray on the casket, and it once again makes its way to the back of the room, followed by family and friends. The procession continues to the grave side, where the bowels of the earth lie open and waiting to receive the deceased.
It is time.
How do you say goodbye to someone who is already gone? The shell of a body that is laid to rest when our spirits leave this world is nothing more than a mere remembrance of what was only moments before.
How can we speak to ears that no longer hear; eyes that no longer see, and lips that no longer give utterance? How can we express what is in our hearts when the one with whom we felt the most intimate warmth and love has turned cold before our very eyes?
If the grave holds no victory and death holds no sting, why are the tears coursing down our faces while our loved ones are lowered into the ground, never to be by our sides again in this life?
Oh, Lord, grant us peace, that when we walk away from this moment, we will see a new dawn rising in the east. Give us the ability to look up in the rosy glow of morning that we may allow the light to be infused within our souls, kindled by our meek submission to thy holy will.
When our loved ones join thy heavenly choirs, give us thy grace, that we may hear their songs while we go about our daily activities. Help us to look into the eyes of those who are left behind, and see for a moment, the love that has been lost from our fingertips.
Grant us the peace that passes all understanding, that through our loss, we come to know thee. Give us the strength to keep going forward with faith, that through thy sacrifice and love, we will have the assurance that one day, we will see them again!
©2015 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved.