Today is a sad day in my family. My Grandmother, who we affectionately refer to as Maw Maw, passed away on Monday and we will lay her to rest this afternoon. She was a kind southern woman who would dish out discipline without hesitation; with love of course! I have great memories of her and laugh often remembering funny stories as she loved, loved, loved to laugh!
I do not like funerals. I don’t like the way people act; quiet, whispering, awkward. And as I prefer to laugh and cut up, funerals are my kryptonite. Death is not an easy event to deal with as we are not exactly sure what happens after life ends. We try to reassure ourselves with the idea that something amazing occurs, but I have no idea.
The ancient Hebrews and early Christians like Paul believed that the soul went to a place called Hades after death; kind of soul waiting room. Some Eastern thought has the life-energy (soul) reformed and reborn into this world until the soul experiences enlightenment. A later Christian theology has the soul skipping Hades and moving straight into heaven.
It really doesn’t matter what happens. For us, that person is simply gone. And we are left to ponder the meaning of life, the meaning of death, ourselves and what happens after death.
Time has a way of healing. Eventually, we forget the small things about someone, then we forget the sound of their voice, then details of the face. It is natural. It is the brains way of protecting us from the pain; by slowly scrubbing our memory of details. Time heals right?!
As you go about your day, take a few moments and thank someone, hug someone, have your emotions moved. My thoughts immediately go to the words of Jimmy Valvano as he received the Arthur Ashe Award in 1993:
When people say to me how do you get through life or each day, it’s the same thing. To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.
Jim Valvano died shortly after this speech from cancer.
Laugh, think, have your emotions moved to tears. I am sure I will have all 3 covered today.
R.I.P Maw Maw