A few days ago I said goodbye to an aunty whom I love dearly. She was not a blood relative, but the mother of my best friend (who I have known for over twenty years).
My aunty was a woman of God, a wife and a mother of four. She stood several inches taller than her husband; a regal figure in her spectacles, coiffured hair and conservative yet elegant sense of style.
Hearing the tributes at her funeral I was lovingly reminded of what I already knew about my aunty and beautifully surprised to learn new things. Her children did her justice as they gave a tribute to their mother by reading the wife of noble character from proverbs 31; providing real life memories of how she exemplified this beautiful, simple woman of God that scripture tells us about. Her husband supported this testament to her character with his own words, delivered from a heart that had experienced true love and devotion from a woman God picked out for him more than forty years ago.
My aunty loved family: she was always the peacemaker among her siblings and she worked, saved and sacrificed for her husband and her children. Her loving kindness spilled over from her family into her work life and the large number of former colleagues at her funeral was a testament to that. She was a romantic, she was keen on saving for a rainy day and taught her children to do the same, she was an expert bargain hunter and a great cook. The wisdom she has passed on to her children is worth more than any family heirloom.
My aunty will be forever missed by so many people, believers and non-believers (over 200 people attended her funeral). For those of us who know the truth our goodbye was a dual combination of sadness and rejoicing. Sadness because we will no longer spend time with her in this life, but we live with the hope of seeing her again when our Lord and Saviour will return and “the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Though we have knowledge of the truth there are times when we are not in total agreement with the will of our Lord, especially when He allows a loved one to die. But we must reconcile in our hearts that “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants” (Psalm 116:15) and that one day we will reunite with them in the presence of our heavenly Father.