I was at my aunt’s celebration service on Sunday afternoon.
She died last week at the age of forty-seven. She married my dad’s brother and their wedding twenty-seven years ago was the first wedding I remember attending. Diagnosed with cancer two years ago, it came on fast. It was because of genetics and not even the Mayo Clinic could do much.
Sunday felt like the hottest day of the year–in an incredibly hot year–as a large group of family and friends gathered to say goodbye and celebrate her life. The heat was near overwhelming but the celebration was held at their home, in a nice wooded lot with a long driveway. It was her favorite place in the world.
My cousins seemed to be doing their best and they had been able to spend the summer with their ailing mother, providing all the care and comfort she needed. On this sad day, even if it was a celebration, it was quite moving to see how much my aunt meant to her family and friends.
But, this blog post really isn’t a eulogy. Its more of a reflection on death and resurrection.
This was the third funeral I attended this year of someone I knew relatively well who had died too early. All three had deep Christian faith; my aunt was an evangelical and went to church every week. My friend and fantasy football buddy Shawn was deeply involved with his Catholic church, and Jim, who just turned thirty, was raised Lutheran.
Months removed from Easter, I was thinking about resurrection. What does it mean to be a people of resurrection and not death?
I appreciated that about my aunt. Our families only saw each other a couple of times a year and I spoke to her last at Christmas. She was in good spirits. I asked her about her cancer. She said it was going to kill her. She didn’t blink. She seemed, at that moment at least, to not have been afraid of death.