I was sitting in my office at work early this morning when a sweet man came in carrying a plate of deviled eggs. He was looking for a place to drop the eggs for a funeral reception at our church later in the day. I am not a picky eater, but deviled eggs are one of my least favorite foods. I don't like how they look, taste, and certainly not how they smell. I ushered him out as politely and quickly as possible.
My former students will tell you I can be sensitive about smell. Unfortunately, my B.O. meter is as accurate as my B.S. meter, which is to say... finely tuned. And don't even get me stared on tuna fish. I had a "no tuna" rule with the teenagers who would hang out in my classroom at lunchtime because much as I like to eat tuna, I don't want my classroom trash to smell like it all day long.
So, this dear man came in carrying a plate of deviled eggs quite early this morning. Oh, have I told you I was back at work after being home sick in bed all day yesterday? Ugh. Fortunately, the smell dissipated before I needed to take another sick day.
But this little post isn't about eggs; I think it's about funerals.
The funeral was for one of my mother's best friends. She was a lovely woman who died at age 82 after a long struggle with cancer. She was a huge Bible scholar and teacher, as well as a champion of women's rights and social justice. She made us think, and in many ways served as a moral compass at our church, always listening, nodding, and pointing us back to grace.
I have been to a handful of funerals in our church in the year since Jack's service. All have been for older people, with grown kids and grand kids. As I sat there, I did not have flashbacks to Jack's service because, well, most of it is a blur to me, and the feel of a funeral for an elderly person is so entirely different from that of a child. Jack's and my mother's dying so young makes me think of what they missed out on, and that's hard.
But with this beloved woman, there was a real quality of completion and a life well lived. She will be missed greatly, as evidenced by the tears shed and the stories shared, but there's also an excitement that all those years of digging and studying were leading up to this moment. She is free from her cancer and can go right to the source of her devotion to gain rest, to gain answers, and perhaps to keep teaching!
I'm no expert on how all of this works, but that's how it seems to me today. Someday I will see it all clearly.
Oh, I skipped the deviled egg table and went straight to the desserts.