Last Friday, one of our church member's husband passed away. Unfortunately, he found out about his cancer too late. The time between his diagnosis and death was very short. The wife and children were really thankful because the husband had accepted Jesus into his heart and because he had passed away in his sleep. The wife said that he was breathing and then he stopped. It was natural and peaceful. He didn't suffer in his final moments on this earth, which was a huge comfort to them.
The funeral was Monday. Our whole family went. My children have been to many funerals, but they usually would stay in the refreshment room with me. I never let them go near the room where the coffin was. This time, it felt like it was a teaching moment. My husband and I decided to let our children go inside for the funeral service. The timing and circumstances seemed right. We talked to them about the fact that they were going to see the man's physical body but that his spirit, the real him, had gone to heaven. We answered their questions as best we could.
I went to my first funeral after I got married. Growing up, my parents didn't think that young people needed to go to funerals. I think that they were shielding us from the pain of seeing death. That is why when I went to my first funeral as an adult, I had no idea about what to expect or what I was supposed to do. It scared me to see the body in the coffin, and I didn't want other people to see me cry. Not understanding the Korean funeral service made it more awkward for awkward me.
I don't want my children to be afraid or feel awkward about funerals. I want them to see that there is a time for everything and death is one of those things. But for those who have accepted Jesus, this isn't the end. It is the promised beginning. The beautiful beginning with Him.