On Sunday morning, my Grandma Herman finally realized the hope of her life - she got to go home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Grandma had lived here on earth for 99 years and now, in the words of the book Big Truth for Little Hearts, she is "truly living". On the morning of her death she kept trying to get out of bed; finally her aides asked her where she was trying to go. My Grandma's simple response was, "Heaven". A few hours later she died peacefully with my father by her side and had her wish fulfilled. It was the end of a life lived faithfully for God. The early Christians used to carve in the tombs of the martyrs, "In Jesu Christo obdormivit" - In Jesus Christ (s)he fell asleep.
For the last couple of weeks the boys' devotions have been from the part of Pilgrim's Progress that deals with the end of Christian's and Hopefuls lives. It has been good for me to read and has also provided great opportunities for conversations with Caleb and Nicolas.
The funeral will be this Saturday. I would say burial, but I think it is not quite appropriate to speak with such terms when you are talking about a child of God. I think 1 Corinthians 15 would indicate that Christians do not bury their dead but sow them. In the words of the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Q. 37), 'What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?' The answer: The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united to Christ , do rest in their graves till the resurrection. I think that is absolutely beautiful.
I will miss my Grandmother (especially her prayers) but my memories of her are precious. In my heart and mind she will always be this warm, fun-loving, kind, gentle, godly woman. She loved unconditionally and always had time to sit down and talk. I always loved her stories; her sense of humor; her patience while allowing me to "help" her in the kitchen; her wisdom she dispensed in thousands of small ways; the Christian walk she modeled so faithfully; and most of all, I will always remember her selflessly giving of her time to come and be a "'mom" to me when mine was fighting and losing a battle against cancer.