My Aunt Avis died this week. It was not unexpected. She had been sick for while. Dad said that she had "the look of death about her" on his last visit. I saw a lot of cousins at the funeral...Martha--the adult (finally), Shirley--still surprisingly youthful, Ronny--looking more like his father every day, Curt--frighteningly frail. Larry--looking far too old, MaryNell--incredibly chic, Connie--elegant, and Barbara--sweet.
The preacher--pastor at the church were my Aunt Avis and my cousin Pat are members--did not deliver a fancy sermon. He spoke of Aunt Avis gone to be with God; in a better place. He praised her spirit and her joy and even addressed her failing mind. He delivered comfort as I had never heard before in a funeral sermon and I was so grateful that he did. You see, Pat and Jim (Aunt Avis's husband) had made the decision just a couple of weeks ago to put Aunt Avis in a nursing home. They were feeling extremely guilty.
And during the service the pastor looked at my cousin and said "Miss Pat, your mother knew she was loved and treasured in this life. You done right by your momma."
This should be said at every funeral. Funerals are not for the dead, but for those left behind. They should give comfort and hope. This young man succeeded in doing just that.
Before the funeral we gathered in the lobby of the funeral home chatting and catching up. Suddenly I found myself being addressed by a man in gray suit, asking me if I was going to sing. My eyes grew large, I shook my head violently and told him...."I love these people, I would never do anything like that to them."
All in all, it's been a rather sad week.