My oldest sister just passed away today at the age of 65 from liver failure. She was 14 years older than me, so I barely remember her living at home. My fondest memories are of her as a young wife and mom. She made me an auntie when I was only 6 years old. I absolutely loved it when she would come over and bring my niece, and then later, a little nephew, and eventually another niece.
Mourning, I am finding out, is a crazy unpredictable process. When my dad died a few summers back I was overwhelmed at how powerful the feeling was that I was a little girl who had, once again, lost her daddy. It took quite some time for me to process that, and whenever I would drive past the nursing home where he was at the end of his life, I would feel the pangs of that all over again for quite some time after his death.
Today what I feel is just a sad weariness...and concern about my almost 84 year old mom, who just lost her firstborn. Underneath all that is the glad realization that my sister, probably for the first time since she was a very little girl, is totally free and whole. She was a very broken person who lived a very broken life, but who came back to Jesus a dozen or so years ago. How awesome for her to not only be free of all disease and physical pain, but from all of the emotional wounds and baggage that tormented her in this life.
I'd really like to have had a glimpse of the reunion her and my dad had today. Both of them, like the woman at the well in Scripture, were ones who had been forgiven much...trophies of the grace of God.