I sat at a funeral service. I had mentally prepared myself not to cry, not be emotional. I knew that once I started a drop of tear, it would soon flow into a river. Yes, I may have been mentally prepared. But was I emotionally prepared? Maybe not.
The river bank held until the speeches flooded in. Each speech made me cry even more. Each speech made me think my loved one would never come back. Each speech made me remember all the memories that was created when we were together. I cried for the loss of thinking birthdays, Christmas, and the occasions that would have come up yearly; would never be the same again. My pack of tissues was not enough. I think if I had brought a box, even that would not have been enough.
Internally I was questioning why I was crying so much. Why was I crying when I knew such a day would come? It was not a hard-harsh reality I suddenly had to wake up to one day. There was no instantaneous moment that took my loved one away. No, I already had a forewarning this day was forthcoming.
In between my ‘questioning’ thoughts were my ‘blessing’ thoughts. How blessed was I to be part of my loved one’s life? Like truly blessed. I had many uncountable years, long before we received the terminal diagnosis. Simple photo moments ingrained in my memories forever, long lasting than my Instagram stories. This thought-train of blessing tied in with my thought of time.
Yet at the same time, whilst I cherished those times, I thought I had already mentally prepared myself for the day to arrive.
So, there I was sitting at the funeral, with the ‘right mindset’ of how I understood that this funeral was not a loss of life but a celebration. The death of my loved one ended a life, not our relationship. This is a phrase within a sermon I recall hearing years ago, not knowing the depth of it until now.
Mentally prepared but …
That was me mentally prepared. But this understanding was also contributing to my tears, which was the emotions I was not prepared for. At that time, I felt like I was crying because I really understood. I understood what it meant to lose someone yet celebrate their life. I understood what people said when they say, ‘live life to the fullest’.
But most importantly I understood that with God what He can give, He also can take away; albeit I don’t see the reason. In fact, I may never understand the reason. I don’t think anyone will ever understand death truly because we are human and death is invisible and inevitable.
So even with this understanding in mind, and me being a Christian – Why then did my tears still stream down? Why did I feel regret? Why did I feel lost? Why did I feel like I have been robbed of no longer having my loved one? Why did I feel like ‘life is unfair’?
All these questions of Why? I think it’s because I am still human. A human with understanding and knowledge but in the end; still human. I am not a robot going through life without feelings. I feel and am emotional because I am human.
Just like God sent Jesus as a human. Jesus felt. In fact, “Jesus wept” in John 11, verse 35. This is the shortest line in the bible yet heavy undertones to this sentence. All the feelings I felt, I believe Jesus felt it too when he wept.
That is why Jesus is so relatable. He knows, He sees, He feels. He is God. Every time we think of the physical presence of someone, it triggers that emotion of sadness. It sets off a stream of tears that dominoes into thoughts of regrets, occasions in time spent with the person, fond memories being recalled and never be recreated. I call this grief.
Cindy Adwong lives and works in Auckland. My aim in life is to live life to the fullest daily. I love being effective and efficient in all I do. My hobbies include spending time with people, baking, cooking, travelling and just being alive, amongst numerous to name.