There are certain emotions that people feel obligated to express on a day like this, when they say a public farwell to their loved one. As I hunted for a song to sing at the service, I couldn’t help but be repulsed by the lackluster selection. All the songs I came across said things like "I don’t know how I’ll make it without you," "Life will be hard until we’re united again…" and other melodramatic statements. I completely understand that coping with death is difficult – my family is no stranger to death, grief, and suffering. But, I am almost ashamed that we, as Christians, tend to have such a depressing disposition when it comes to death. Heaven is a promise for those of us who choose to follow Jesus. I am looking forward to spending eternity there. But, I’m on earth NOW for a reason. My granddad lived that way. He knew heaven was waiting, but he was ALIVE while he was here and he soaked up every moment.
I am being a bit cynical… mainly because this is the fifth funeral my family has held in the past two and a half years. Maybe I have become hardened to grief, making it difficult for me to understand other people’s pain? Whatever it is, I just know that… yes, this time in my life is hard. My granddaddy and I were buds. I adored him, and he adored me. He adored all of us. But, death is not the end. Jesus conquered the grave. If I am going to believe it, then I must claim it and live it. My granddaddy lived an amazing life… filled with drama, heartache, second chances, laughter, and the strongest will to survive that I’ve ever seen. Even when the doctor "predicted" that my granddady only had a few hours to live, he held on for nearly two more days. The man did not want to die! He was not afraid of death, but just so in love with life that he wasn’t ready for it to end. That, my friends, is how I want to live. Not afraid to die, but so in love with life that I don’t want it to end. Because, it will never end… it will just begin again.
And that is something worth living for.