It is hard to say goodbye to those we love, especially when they have been with us most or all of our lives. They are special, and they leave an enormous void when they leave.
My Uncle Johnnie was one such person . . . his wife another. Not only did they mean a lot in their own right, but they filled a void left by two people that I had never even met . . . my grandparents.
So understandably, we were all sad when we knew that he was going to die. But I think we were much more sad for us then for him. He lived a good long life. His wife was already gone. His health was starting to fail. The one time butcher who made the best kielbasa around, and the man who loved golf with a passion, could no longer enjoy either food or golf. However he played his jokes and pranks almost until the very end.
And then Uncle Johnnie was gone . . . or was he?
I saw him as relatives recounted all of his famous jokes and pranks at the visitation, and there were more laughs than tears.
I saw him in my son’s story of the hand he saw waving out of the stained glass during the funeral. That sounds like something that he’d do.
Then there was the time that we passed the golfer teeing up on a green on the way to the cemetery, while in the funeral procession. Turning to my husband I commented on what a nice place “that would be to golf”, and then turned back to realize that we were actually driving past part of the cemetery that we were headed to.
And last but not least there was the pigeon that we saw actually using the crosswalk on the way from the dinner after the funeral.
Is Uncle Johnnie gone? No, I believe he’s made it perfectly clear that he’s still with us. His body, like all of our bodies, was just a tent. His soul and spirit live on.
Lord, it is hard to not be able to see and talk to the ones we love here on earth. We love so many of those that you have put into our lives, and we miss them when they are gone. Help us to see them living on in our lives. Thank you for always being there for us when we need you. Amen