In Life and In Death

I once thought “Till death do you part” meant separation when a partner dies. I realize now some commitments last until we’re both in the grave. There are parts of you that I strive to carry on. Or perhaps, they carry me. Daniel Jonce Evans to Rachel Held Evans in the introduction to Wholehearted Faith

I think and talk about death more than the average person, to the point that when our children were little, someone asked them if their mother was a funeral director. My own funeral bulletin has been written for many years and I update it on January 1st annually.

I really hope to see my parents again on the other side, along with Cindy and Margaret and little Katie and now Molly. I don’t believe that Revelation 21:16 is about the physical dimensions of heaven as much as it’s about a vision that reminds us that our future rests in God’s hands. If there are twelve gates, that’s lovely. But my faith doesn’t rest on how many gates there will or will not be.

My mother-in-law who became a widow over the past year has said that she feels very close to her husband in spite of his death last December. She feels him near. I was thinking about this in light of what Dan Evans wrote in the introduction of his wife’s last book. She started this book before her shocking death in 2019 and her friend Jeff Chu has finished it.

I agree with her husband that we continue to be carried by those who have left this life, and we will be connected until we join them on the other side – whatever that even means.

I find joy in seeing my grandparents’ dining room furniture in my sister’s house. I love Chummy in Call the Midwife because she reminds me so much of Cindy. I am still connected with Margaret through her children and the grandchildren she never got to meet. I still contact Katie’s mom on Katie’s birthday. She would be 27 now.

It’s a blessing to feel connected with people we love in spite of death.

My parents are still dead, and I still miss them and there are other children who lost a parent this week and that will never be okay. In life and in death, we belong to God and those words mysteriously fill me with peace. What is also true is that we belong to each other even in death. There are parts we strive to carry on. Or they carry us.

This post is dedicated to Molly Lowry and her family.

6 responses to “In Life and In Death

  1. Thank you for your loving tribute to Molly and her family.

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  2. Thanks, Jan. My mom made her trip to the other side last Sunday, and in the midst of tying up loose funeral ends (only a few b/c she planned it when she turned 85!) it bouyed me up to read this. God bless you for this!

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  3. foothillspresby

    Thank you, Jan.

    Rev. Deborah G. Foster Presbytery Leader & Stated Clerk Foothills Presbytery 2242 Woodruff Road Simpsonville SC 29681 864-288-5774 (office) 864-617-9202 (cell) http://www.foothillspresbytery.org

    I WILL NEVER SOLICIT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE OR ISSUE VAGUE PLEAS FOR HELP VIA EMAIL! PLEASE CALL THE CELL # IN MY SIGNATURE IF YOU ARE EVER IN DOUBT.

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  4. Thank you for sharing this!

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