Memories of You

Memories of you: when someone made a joke or said something slightly offensive you would always say: “Stop!!!” When we walk in the field service, preaching door-to-door, you would always carry your linen parasol with you. When you walk, you would always take your time. Taking every step ever so careful. Now, thinking back, I’m not sure if that’s just the way you walked or that you were in pain.

You left us on 18th of March, this year. I remember waiting at home for mom and dad. Dad had to work late that day. When mom finally came home, first thing she asked was: “Did dad called you?” Immediately, I sensed that something was wrong. Next thing she said was: “Look at my eyes.” Her eyes were red, glassy and some tears were running down her face. I thought she had lost her job. Then she said: “Tante Stella has passed away.” And she opened her arms to me. I hugged her, and she began to cry. But I didn’t. Not really. Because, how could you die? How could you be gone, if you were always here?

The days leading up to your funeral, I would ask myself why I didn’t cry like my mother. Was it because I have been to a lot of funerals lately? Has my heart become cold? Or, was it the fact that I knew you weren’t gone forever, and that I will soon see you again in Paradise? You meant so much to me, and yet, I didn’t cry that much.

I kept replaying every memory I had of you. Afraid that maybe I started letting go of you already. Your voice when you said: “Stop!!!”, and then, how you would cover your mouth, bow your head and start laughing. Your parasol. Your walk. How you always gave nice comments during the meetings at the Kingdom Hall. I didn’t want to forget.

The funeral was on March 24th. My mother always believed that it’s important to keep the coffin open, so people can see the deceased. Because it will help you mourn. I never believed her. But man was she right. I have never felt pain like that. I was heartbroken. And yes, I finally cried. But then, the part of the service came where you sang the song 111, titled: ‘He Will Call’. And so we began:

“Life, like a mist, appears for just a day,

Then disappears tomorrow.

All that we are can quickly fade away,

Replaced with tears and sorrow.

If a man should die, can he live again?

Hear the promise God has made:”

As you can imagine we started to cry, but we kept singing. Now came the chorus, and I began to heal:

“He will call; The dead will answer.

They shall live at his command.

For he will have a longing

For the work of his own hand.

So have faith, and do not wonder,

For our God can make us stand.

And we shall live forever,

As the work of his own hand.”

When someone dies, you try to remember every last memory you have of them. How you felt when they were around you, how they reacted to certain situations, how they spoke. You try to remember everything about them because it feels like: with losing this person, along with them, you lose the memories you have of them. Every time someone passes away, it’s just another reminder of how death is not, and will never be natural. But, Revelations 21:4 promises: “…he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” So, I have a lot of memories of you. I may or may not lose some of them. But if I do, it will be okay, because: we’ll just have to make new ones, in the near Paradise.

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