Her little hands were pressing against the window pane as she looked out at the pouring rain. It had created large puddles on the driveway. She wanted to put on her yellow boots and heavy yellow raincoat with it’s matching hat and run outside and let the rain wash over her. She wanted to jump into the puddles and delight in how high she could make the water fly up into the air.
She wanted to tilt her head up and open her mouth and drink the rain that fell on her tongue, Instead she audibly sucked in a long, deep breath of air and when she released it her shoulders lowered noticeably as her head bowed with the heavy weight of sorrow she felt in her heart.
She looked at her hands on the window pane, mother would have hollered that she was leaving fingermarks on the glass. She lifted her hand off the glass, sure enough, there were her fingermarks, but mother wouldn’t notice them today. She thought that she must be a horrible child, wanting to go outside and play in the rain the same day that they buried her beloved grandmother in the ground.
All the people who came to watch, they were still here in the house, talking and eating but no one was paying any attention to her today. She was alone with her thoughts.
She remembered waking up this morning, she was overwhelmed with her feelings of loss. She missed her grandmother’s warmth and love. She had asked her mother where did grandmother go? She told her mother she didn’t want to watch them put grandmother into the ground, it’s a dark and scary place. She had begged mother to not let them bury her grandmother. The kids at school had told her that the bugs and worms would come and claim the body once it was in the ground. She hated that thought.
Mother had gently taken her hand and sat with her on the side of her bed. Mother wanted to help her understand and accept what was happening. She thought about what her mother had said. Mother reminded her of another time, when they were on vacation and they wanted to get across the small lake to explore the other side. It looked so interesting with all the flowers and trails and new things to do.
They found that old boat and they jumped in and used it to cross the lake. Once they got there, they abandoned it and spent the rest of the day exploring all the new and beautiful things that they found. They never went back to the boat, they found a different way home.
That old boat had served its purpose and now it would stay where they left it and slowly the weeds would grow around it and the boards would come apart and it would return to the earth from where it came. The same thing happens to us, mother had told her.
Mother explained that when grandmother first came into the world she had a soul that was stuffed into that little bitty baby body that she was given to use while she traveled through this life. As her body grew and learned and loved, so did her soul. That all the love that we felt, came from her soul, and all the love we returned fed her soul. Now grandmother used her body to allow her soul to travel through this life.
When she got to her journey’s end in this life, her soul hopped out of her body and it is continuing on to it’s next adventure. Now that she no longer needs her body, God is returning it to the earth where it came from. That is why the pastor says ashes to ashes, dust to dust as we lay her body to rest and we say goodbye.
The same thing happens to all of us. We are born, and our soul is inside that little bitty baby body, We travel through the years, using our body, that was created from the earth, to make the journey through time. We laugh, learn, love and when we have completed our journey, our soul hops out of our body and we get to explore the other side. Your grandmother has completed her journey and is busy exploring a different place, she is done with her body, so we are going to respectfully return it to the earth from where it came.
Now the funeral was over. Everyone said it was a nice celebration of her life. They all said goodbye to grandma and then everyone came there.
She sighed again, this time for herself because she knew her life would never be the same. Grandmother had told her, life was a gift that she should cherish.
Suddenly she knew what she should do. She ran to the closet and pulled out her rain gear, quickly put it on, then slipped outside, to play joyfully in the pouring rain.