Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Funeral on Holy Saturday

Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Christ and is followed by Holy Saturday, the time when Christ's followers were feeling helpless and hopeless. I'm sure Gayla's family was feeling like this too.  How will Blake and Jennie go on without their mother?  What will Alfred do without his wife? Friends, co-workers, students and family felling empty.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my hope come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. --Psalm 121:1-2

And then on Sunday, Jesus came back to life, resurrected. New life, joy, problem solved. Gayla has entered into that resurrected life but those left behind will continue to grieve, for now.

Friday, April 6, 2012

E-mail to Website to Blog Post

An email from Focus on the Family titled "Have You Ever Caught a Glimpse of Heaven?" led to reading more on their website. Jim Daly shared about when his mom died (he was only nine-years-old). At the cemetery he saw a cloud formation that looked like stair steps leading into heaven. His soul was comforted. These clouds had a similar affect on others who were there.

Readers left a multitude of comments with similar stories of being close to God during death. Through tears I remembered a story I was told when my Grandma Queal died. The details are fuzzy, she died in 1982. My mom told me about it, seeming to dismiss it as the hallucinations of her dying mom. But maybe it was more, or why would she have told me?

Grandma was in the hospital dying. My mom and her sister, Tookie, were there with her. Grandma kept saying, "When is Sydney going to get here?" Sydney is my aunt's name, as well as mine.  She died when she was 21-years-old of polio. I was named after her. I'm not sure what the sisters said to their mom in response to her question but a time came when Grandma smiled and said, "Here she is. Sydney is here. All my girls together." She closed her eyes and soon took her last breath.

Have you had a close encounter with heaven?