August 19

Written by Bill Grandi on August 19th, 2021

I went to a funeral visitation of a friend last night.

A brief bit of background:

I was the pastor of a church in Terre Haute, IN from 1987-2000. During my time there I performed a lot of weddings and funerals. With that amount of time in one place, one is bound to do weddings and funerals that overlap. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles. This family was one of them. This was a big family and I was trying to calculate how many. I gave up. I was even asked back once, after moving to Spencer, to perform a funeral for the family.

The lady I honored last night was one of the 4 or 5 sisters. She had been divorced for several years when I first met her and she had met a man who captured her. Their marriage was a dream one for her, when one morning about a year after the wedding she woke up to him making a loud noise in the bathroom. Dropping things and just making all kinds of racket. He had suffered a stroke that totally affected his right side. No more speech. No more use of his right arm.  A metal brace on his right leg, knee to ankle. But she stayed with him. I’d visit and although he could not communicate verbally, he talked with his eyes or shook his head. She loved him well. Sometime after I left she had no choice but to put him in a home. She could no longer take care of him.

She died having dementia. I spoke with her daughter as we stood at the casket. I married she and her husband in 2000, and then as he put it: “You hi-tailed it out of town.” Not really, of course. Like me he is a pastor and loves to joke. That sounds like I was John Dillinger-rob a bank and then get out of Dodge. 🙂   Her then 9-ear old daughter is now 30, married with a child of her own. Sheesh! Am I that old?  Well, yes. I have been gone for 21 years this past June.

Her daughter captured it right: “I am sad for me, but not for mom. She’s having a big reunion, a big party in heaven.” That captures my sentiments. Paul wrote, “O death, where is your sting? O death, where is your victory?” The answer? For the follower of Christ the answer is ZERO.

When it comes to Linda, death you lost. When it came to my mom, you lost. When it comes to me, you will lose again.

“Father, thank you for salvation. Thank you for the promise of heaven and eternal life with you.”


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Having just lost my mother, Bill, this reflection truly touched my heart. Jesus has conquered death and the grave no longer has any power.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I almost used your mom’s name Martha but since I didn’t have your permission I decided against it. But yes, it is good to know death has been conquered.

  2. Ed says:

    It always gets me how we go to a funeral (and be sad) here, while up in heave they are going to a party and being happy. Two different sides to life and death…

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You are right Ed. Two sides and there will always be those until the day we are called home or Jesus returns.

  3. Ryan S. says:

    Funerals are tough in that it reminds me of time lost, time squandered, time wasted. Opportunities never taken or overlooked. I recently lost a cousin as a result of a tooth infection of all things. He was several years younger than I and I remember the times we played as kids. As time went on and we got older, we lost touch. An occasional family gathering, sadly mostly other funerals, now he is gone. I only have the memories, new ones will not be formed. I know he grew up Lutheran, however, I can only speculate that I might see him again. I hope that is the case. One thing is for sure, our time is limited here on this earth. Take the time for things that are important. Take time to make those memories. Take time to stop and remember the ones made.