Not death, but Homecoming

November 1, 2015

day dead skullEl Dia de los Muertos begins today, the Mexican religious holiday we know as the Day of the Dead or All Souls Day. Festive celebrations are held to honor dead loved ones. It’s a day of joyous remembrance, not of grief and sadness. That’s why I thought this post was perfect for today.

It isn’t often that I see something on Facebook that is so staggeringly beautiful that I had to ask if I could reprint it here. This is a moving online eulogy written by my new friend, Lori Mutiso in honor of her beloved friend, Martha. I won’t use her full name here out of respect, as I didn’t know her.

But what I DO know is that Lori’s words reflect the way I’m coming to view death: not as something terrible, but a celebration and a homecoming. Not death, but homecoming. Something to be happy about.

I’ve struggled to understand death, grief, loss my entire life, but in one Facebook post, Lori summed up both my struggle and my belief.

Perhaps yours, too.

hearts rug
by Lori Mutiso

This morning, God welcomed home His daughter Martha.

I cannot begin to imagine the wonderful homecoming celebration that she is experiencing right now…

a celebration experienced by my own Dad not yet 2 years ago…

a celebration I will experience one day myself…

But I do know the bittersweetness of knowing someone you dearly love finally (finally!) has relief from their pain…but they are the one person with whom you can’t celebrate…because they are no longer here.

I know the surreal feeling of the juxtaposition of impossibly extreme emotions…the highest joy and the lowest sadness…battling for control inside of you…usually ending up with one in control of your heart and the other in control of your mind…

I know the feeling of watching your loved one in excruciating pain…holding your breath…willing them (begging God!) to get better…and then suddenly (after so long!)…they ARE better…but they are also GONE…

I know the relief that comes when you finally allow yourself to exhale (after holding your breath for months, years)…and then the panic that sets in when you discover you can’t breathe for the grief…

I know the peaceful rest (Shalom!) that comes with mature confidence in my Heavenly Father to be in control of both the universe…and my little heart…and yet somewhere inside this “mature” daughter of God there is a toddler crying inconsolably, stomping her foot saying, “But YOU SAID if we ask anything in Your name…”

And I don’t know HOW…

But I do know that someday, it will all make sense.

I know that God will somehow gather up all these broken pieces and will make a stunning stained-glass mosaic that will be more beautiful than the original unbroken version could have ever been…

And when THE Light shines through our mosaic (the imperfect perfect stories of our lives) it will tell the Good News… “The Gospel According to Me.”

Makes me think of some of the exquisite cathedrals I’ve visited in Europe. Quiet afternoons spent in contemplation with the afternoon sun shining through the centuries old intricate stained-glass designs…all telling different versions of the same story…This is a person who lived…This is how God loved them and worked through them…

I hope you have confidence in your own homecoming celebration one day. I hope God is writing “The Gospel According to YOU” in the broken pieces of your life.

To those of you who loved her well, we hold you in our hearts and prayers during this difficult time.

11 comments on “Not death, but Homecoming
  1. Hil says:

    Death is such a hard thing to bear. I hope you are finding peace.

  2. This is so profound and beautiful I have no words. Thank you for sharing.

  3. What a joyous way to think of the passing between one plane of existence to another. I celebrate with you. A release of pain.

  4. Donna says:

    As a fellow believer that we never die I love reading other folks interpretations. We are all looking at the same picture, just interpreting it a bit differently. Like witnesses in court we won’t all describe or feel the same picture even though we have all seen the same picture. And when our pieces are lovingly put back together we will be the person we were meant to be, with all the experience we were meant to have during this raucous, intense, wonderful and incredible ride through earth life. This was written beautifully and I am so grateful you shared it.

  5. What a beautiful piece. And it’s fascinating to see how you can change the way you feel by changing your perspective.

  6. Barbara says:

    What a beautiful eulogy of sweet hope. Thanks for sharing it with us. Have a blessed week, Carol.

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