Yesterday I was able to attend the memorial service of my good friend’s grandma. I’ve been to a good five or ten memorial services in my lifetime and they all have had a few common themes- sadness, remembrance, a little bit of laughter, and appreciations. I think the one thing that always sets apart Christian funeral services/memorials from non-Christian ones is the aspect of hope and confidence that believers have, knowing that Jesus has made a way to eternal life and the glorification of our bodies in an immortal resurrected body.
One thing that Pastor David Stevens said today really got me thinking, “On a tombstone there are two dates- the year of your birth and the year of your death- how do you live your life between that dash?” It made me think of my own life. After processing all of the things that people had said to describe this very loving woman of God, I was amazed by how many people she had touched with Christ’s love and desire to do that in my own life. I hope we can all remember the hope that we have in Christ to be with him and others in relationship for eternity.
In the meantime, we have to deal with the feelings of separation and loneliness sometimes. I believe that Jesus has defeated death and sin, but that we are still presently living in an imperfect state where those two forces still have effects on our lives. I hope that as I continue to live life and do youth ministry that I can really learn how to minister to people better in these situations because of my own experiences with grief.
A resource that I would recommend is Grief Share. It really helped me with some issues of loss and grief in a Christ-centered safe, group atmosphere.