My Mother's family is gathered in Gastonia, NC for the funeral of her beloved Sister. Death is always hard, even for those of us who share the belief in life everlasting through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Tensions, emotions and, yes, even tempers run higher; words are, sometimes, hastily said and, even more quickly, regretted. Family gathers around to lend support, hugs, tears, laughter. We share our strength, remember good times, fun times but all the while wondering how we're going to get through the next few hours, days, weeks.
For the rest of our lives, it will be a time of firsts. The first Christmas without our Wife, Aunt, Sister, Mother, mother-in-law, friend; the first New Year's, the first Valentine's, the first...
People are holding up well, as well as can be expected, I suppose. Aunt. R. suffered in this life; for the last sixteen years she was on oxygen because she had COPD from working in a sewing factory. Not only smokers and coal miners get COPD. Plain, ordinary women and men who work in tiresome circumstances, earning a living for their families also got, get, COPD. Anyway, she's not suffering now.
So, in this Holy Season, hold near and dear to those you love; remember with fondness and kindness those who have passed. Eat well, drink sensibly, love more today than you did yesterday but less than you will tomorrow. Remember God loves you and hold fast to your faith.