Chptr 14 - Grieving is for the Living



This is the eulogy I would give for myself at my funeral:


Hey everyone! Wow, I made it! I spent my whole life to get here and now I am. "I ran the race," as Paul, said.


I lived a life so blessed that the angels must have pulled up in an armored truck with all of the miracles that God had made for me. The truck was bursting it was so full.


The love in my life from so many people has been one of the many miracles delivered from the armored truck as a miracle. Life, salvation, eternity in paradise are a great list to start with. I praise him for those.  I thank God for making each person first, then Him for planning each person that we shared moments of our lives together.  You have been great! I am thrilled we are going to spend forever together!


There were a lot of other miracles, if you have been at the celebration in the past day or so or can stick around today, you may get to hear about some of them if you do not already know of them. Unbelievable! That's why they are called miracles. Those are just the ones that I know about- God gives so many that we don't know about.


When I wrote this, I had no idea how I would pass from this life to the next, only that I would. The passage may have been in an instant or over a long and painful time. If that time was painful and you were there to love and support me, thank you. I love you. My gratitude is immense and unending.


This isn't the Academy Awards, so I'm not going to list all of the people I want to thank or recognize. There are just so many. I don't want to forget to say a name and make anyone feel like they were lower than someone else on the list.


Life takes all of the time you have here. Eternity takes forever. Think about it this way.  You may be alive a long time or short time, but for me, I now exist with Jesus and our Heavenly Father in the timeless place of forever. From my perspective, I am going to see you in heaven in the blink of an eye. You will see all of those who have gone before you. Those of us who have shared moments with you in this life will be in the stands when you arrive in the next life. We will be the really loud ones in your cheering section. Our savior greets you into heaven first, but I sure hope there is a reception line. I want to be toward the front. Since it has been a race, you may need water and some fruit or a cookie. I'll have both. We are going to laugh and hug for so long because we have forever. By the way, you are in heaven, so I just want to tell you now, you are going to look GREAT!


Wow, look at the time! I should be in the ground pretty soon.  Grieving is no joke. I would tell you to try not to be sad, but you loved me when I was here, you will hurt as I have hurt for those close to me when they passed. I tried to remember and cherish those memories and feelings of the times that we had rather than be haunted by the times we would not have because the had passed. It helped a little bit, but pain is still pain and it takes a while to heal.


As for me, I left a few days ago. From where I am, it only is a moment until we are together again. We will be with Jesus, living in paradise, and we will be together. I am excited. While you are still on earth and when you think of me, please spend time remembering rather than grieving. Grieving means we will never see each other again. That's ridiculous. I just talked about all of that.


I love you all so very much and I am grateful for you. I am at the finish line, waiting and don't worry, I know what your favorite post-race snack is.


Love, Your brother,

Tom


I wrote this chapter before I had to deliver the “Remembrances” for my identical-twin brother’s Celebration of Life ceremony. He had died of lung cancer and he truly had finished the race well. It is hard to deliver that message for someone you love, really hard. Maybe my eulogy that I have written for myself above is selfish. Tim read this chapter before he passed and said, “I’m glad I won’t have to read it.”


I wrote the words of the eulogy I would give for myself from the heart with the idea that it would take some of the pain away. People who might attend my service would feel better if they knew that I was grateful, and I wanted them to smile. I know that this is partially true. There is a part of this story that should be told that I haven’t. That part of the story is how I came to Christ, or rather, how He came to me. That is a story to be told at all Christ followers “Celebrations of Life” ceremonies for anyone who has passed. Stories about coming to Christ inspire, commiserate with, and touch others who are on their journey home to be with Christ and the Lord.


In delivering Tim’s Remembrances I was given the privilege of telling the story of a person who strayed from God and then came back to Him. Tim then served God in many ways. It makes me want to re-write my own eulogy from what I have, but I won’t edit what is written, I will just work on my life so that it has a better story to tell each day.

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