I got a call from my mother one Saturday night: her aunt Cash, who I had known all my life, had died. I got the message that I was needed at home and arranged it with my manager at the time to be gone for a couple of days to attend the wake and funeral.
I flew into Chicago and my youngest brother and his father (my stepfather) met me at the plane (remember the days when you could do that?) and brought me home. The next evening was the wake. I had a chance to catch up with a few cousins and my aunts and uncles.
And it hit me: Cash was there. Not just the body lying in the casket, because right now that wasn’t her: that was just the 90 pounds of flesh, bone and blood that she had dragged around for 84 years. It was more than that. Her spirit was there, in every person that I talked to. It was a very real presence.
It made me think about the whole concept of eternal life. I had heard about eternal life from the nuns in grammar school, and remember the line from the Bible where Jesus said "I am the Resurrection and the Life. He (or she) who believes in me, even though he dies, will have eternal life." But, until that moment, I didn’t realize what that meant. I knew people I never met, because to the people they loved, they were still alive. They weren’t walking around, of course, but still alive in their minds, and maybe more importantly, in their hearts and souls.
Christine runs Simply 6 Minutes, and the the pingbacks are at her site.