Death is such a crazy thing. One moment, you’re here, and then suddenly, you’re not. Your body is here, but it can no longer function as it did just a moment ago.
In funeral school, I found the moment of death confusing. Up to that point, I had always had a firm belief in God and the hereafter. Somehow, though, that moment of life’s cessation became very bewildering to me. Don’t get me wrong, I still believed in God and the hereafter, but I was confused about how it all worked and found myself questioning why life was set up with such sorrow.
The frailties of life are vast and delicate. We seem to think that we are invincible until the reality of death knocks on our doors. We tuck the fact that life is short and can end without notice somewhere deep in the back of our minds because it is dreadful and sucks the joy out of our beings.
Once we experience the death of a loved one, we are changed. We see life differently. What may have seemed important to us before loss may seem of little value, whereas things outside our concern may become vastly important. We are never again the same.
That is what death has done to me. I am different. Pain and anguish have made me keenly aware of the importance of relationships and how quickly they can move beyond my reach. The line between good and evil has become more precise and critical. In a world where I see others accepting fluidity, my concepts have become less so. Honesty and truth, especially within the human relationship, have become paramount to me. Time with my husband, children, and grandchildren is more precious than ever. I can no more pass up a moment with them than I can live without breathing. They are all that matters to me in life. All that I do is for them. My self-fulfillment is wholly based on their welfare, joy, and success.
Life after loss has changed for me. The world, as it currently is, is utterly worthless in my heart; however, I strive to remain here to protect and support my sweet family. Without their draw on me, I see nothing of value, nothing to encourage me.
I love my work, mainly because it is service-based. I enjoy serving others because it is fulfilling, but I wish I were more talented and less restricted by the limits brought on by aging. I love my husband. He has given my life meaning, true joy, and happiness. I love my children and grandchildren because they are the meaning of my life. I love my friends and the enrichments they have gifted to me. And I love God because he has given me the most extraordinary life I could have ever wished for and never dared to dream of. Heavenly Father’s eternal glory is the most incredible knowledge and gift I could have ever hoped for, and I am grateful for it.
I hope your life has been as glorious as mine. Survival has always been a struggle, but the challenges have always been worth the growth. Looking back on my life, I wish I had been more dedicated to some things and worked a little harder to achieve and grow when I was younger, but those years have passed me by. I move forward now with an awareness of my weaknesses and a desire to improve.
I believe that my responsibilities lie with those who will remain after my death. I must dedicate myself to their welfare and improvements. That is my direction and my dedication. Encouraging and guiding my children and grandchildren to obtain their full potential as sterling human beings will improve their lives, the lives of those around them, and, in a small way, the world at large. That is my goal. I hope for them the happiness and joy I have had, and I will work until I die to help them obtain it.
I have such apprehension as I write this. Perhaps it is because it is September 11. It is a sad day, and it pains me that businesses go on as usual when our nation has suffered such loss. I sit silently and pray for a world that recognizes life is sacred, holy, and precious. September 11 is a “Day of Remembrance” for all the families that suffered such horrific tragedy 22 years ago, and I pray for them just as I do year after year.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, Podcaster, and founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, Podcasts, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award.
It is my life’s work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.