Monday, March 26, 2012

A Party & A Visitation, All In One!!

Last Friday we took our kids to a funeral home visitation for the first time.  We had explained to them that they might see a body laying in the funeral home, but that was only the shell of the person that had passed away.  We further explained that when a person dies, their spirit lives on and leaves the body.  We had talked to them before about all this, but going over it again seemed to be the right thing to do since they we fixing to be in a room with a casket.

As we approached the funeral home my son said, "Is that where the party is going to be?"  I quickly replied, "It's not a party!  It's an opportunity to pay our last respects!"  I was so concerned that he and his big sister would not know how to act.  After all, this was their first visitation.  We gave them a list of things to do and not do, to say and not say, but I have to say I was holding my breath when we walked in!  I was uncertain of how things would go.

When we entered we saw our sweet family friends we were there to support.  After hugs and kisses, we all started to talk.  This particular family knows Jesus, so even at the funeral home there was laughter.  We heard them telling stories of precious lady that had just passed, and who's shell was laying at the front of the room.  She had lived a long life (over 96 years) and her daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter were all there in the room along with all the other family and friends.....each a little weepy, but each smiling.  We heard stories that brought out loud bursts of laughter from the crowd.  Honestly, it come to think of was fun.  I sincerely enjoyed being there and paying my last respects to Mama (that's the only thing I've ever called her and what most people close to the family called her).  Everyone knew she was with Jesus, and everyone was celebrating her life well lived.

Since then I've thought about our visitation experience. When the Lord decides to call me home (and He will one day because statistics show 1 out of every 1 person dies) then I want a fun funeral.  I want to live a long life like Mama, but whenever I go, I want the funeral to be fun.  I want there to be laughter.  I want people to celebrate my life.  They can be weepy, but only if they are smiling for me.  I want people to tell funny stories about me and talk about the good times.  But most importantly, I want people to know without a shadow of a doubt that I'm in heaven with my Savior.  I think that is what makes a visitation a party!

Jesus, thank you so much for dying on the cross for me.  It's because of Your love that we can celebrate at funeral homes.  It's because of Your love that death has lost it's sting.  Thank you so much for the joy of having known Mama.  I know she is enjoying being in heaven with You, and I look forward to seeing her again one day.  She would be proud of the "party" that was held in her honor this past Friday.  Please bless the family left behind here. Surround them with Your love and peace during this time.  ~ Amen