What is depicted above – of family members and relatives gathering together mourning the demise of a loved one is not a new scene. The emotions we undertakers see at funerals are very raw and they range the entire gamut of happiness at the thought that their loved one is now at a better place, to sadness, and at the extreme end, to guilt and remorse.
Being sentient beings, it is no wonder that we feel much for the passing of someone dear to us. At a recent occasion where I was helping to manage one funeral, I came across this elderly couple. What strike me is how much this old man loved his wife. Everyone at the nursing home seemed to know this uncle. They even came and occupied an entire table during the wake service. I later learnt that everyone knew him because his wife, upon being diagnosed with stroke had been living at the nursing home for about 3 year, and he being the faithful husband had been visiting his wife almost EVERY SINGLE DAY. Talk about commitment!
Be it rain or shine, be it on good days or not so good ones, the elderly man would dutifully visit his wife and keep her company even when she probably could not respond much to him. Then come one day, he himself was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. That is why when he speaks, his voice is barely audible. That is when he felt really burdened and saddened that he could not visit his wife that frequently. I was told by the man himself later on that he went through an operation where he thought he would be the first to go home to be with the Lord. Somehow, it isn’t his time yet.
When he saw his wife lying motionless in the coffin, I guess that broke his heart. Tears just started to speak for what words couldn’t convey. “We are married for 57 years”, ” I wished it was me who is going home and not her”, ” I want to go with her” – simple sentences which shows just how much this man loves his wife and how he just can’t bear to let her go.
True stories like that inspires me. It proves to me that despite the challenges of marriage and the pervasiveness of divorces in today’s society, true love still prevails. I am sure it isn’t easy, like many other things in life. But the fruit to the overcoming of these challenges, I reckon would be far sweeter than the locking of yourself up from the world.
I shall end today’s post with a quote by C.S. Lewis:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”