A couple of Thursdays ago, Lloyd, a guy from church, called to tell me that one of our own, Beulah, passed on. Now I'm sure you don't know a lot about my church, but lets just say its small, like 19 or so per week. So when one of our own passes on, its obvious. Not only that, most of us have attended there for years, so we know each other pretty well. Well, initially I was frozen in shock, then I had to do something. Dad was at work and my sister and mother were away in Lebanon. I decided to go to Summer Fresh. I aksed Russell if I could have the day of the funeral off, due to it being in the middle of the work day. He actuallly understood how I felt and said "of course." With that taken care of, I went home to resume fixing supper. My thoughts were racing through my head. "Can she see what I do now? Does she know more about me than I think? How am I truly sure she's in Heaven?" My dad came home and I broke the news to him, and he went in the living room, alone. I told him supper was ready, but he didn't come to eat. I KNOW something is bothering my dad if he does not want to eat. I quickly ate a small supper and went to my room. The week was a pretty cruddy one on top of the fact that someone I cared about, passing on. I quickly updated this blog to let you know why I haven't updated, then my mom and sister came home, and my dad told them the news.
With thoughts floating through my head all week, along came Sunday, and Church was before visitation. I was afraid of making a "feux paux" and kept quiet during the service. I was pretty much the same way during visitation. Quiet. The funeral home was beautiful. I extend my compliments to the owner(s). We went in and went by the casket. My mom hugged Beulah's daughter. We passed the body. There she was. Lying still. Wearing a blue dress and looking much skinnier and plaer than I last saw her. Inside her casket was a picture of 4 birds, I believe to be doves, and the two words "going home." I felt like I had to cry, but I did not. We sat a few pews back, watching and talking to poeple as they came in. My parents, especially my dad, knew many people who came in. It was their crowd. They talked and caught up with their lives. I pretty much sat there. The only person I saw was my cousin Ashley. As I sat there, I thought to myself "Wow. Look at all of these people. All the lives touched by this one. This is so beautiful." We left soon after meeting up with some long-lost relatives.
Monday rolled around, and we went back to Fraker's and did the same thing. Mike Collier, a good friend and past preacher, Josh Vineyard, one of the current preachers, and Llyod were seated up front. Marlene, Lloyd's wife sat next to us for a few minutes. I hugged her. She was in tears, because she was pretty close to Beulah. She then left to sit with the family. Josh sounded off the obituary. Lloyd then preached a beautiful speech (He was up half the night, worrying about it). They played songs in the background like "An Empty Mansion", "Beyond the Sunset", and "Safe in the Arms of Jesus." If those songs did not make you feel emotional...you're not human. I got to see her for the last time. It felt like it took forever to pass her, yet it was like a blink. We went to the cemetary. A herse pulled up and placed her near her tombstone. Mike then gave another beautiful speech and also related some heartfelt stories. Her casket was placed on a metal stand, and was being lowered into the earth. As God created up form the dust of the Earth, so shall we return...
We left the cemetary and went home. I prayed for her family, and my strength. I realized somethign after that. This whole time, and not a single tear. Why is that? Do I mourn in another way? Probably so. It was comforting to know that she is now with her husband and Norman again. That she is no longer in pain. That she is in a place she deserves to live. All of these things comforted my heart, and I felt at ease with the situation.
Beulah, if you know these thoughts, know that I love you as another mother, and that I miss you a lot. I pray that you are truly "Safe in the Arms of Jesus."