Remember, And Please Don’t Forget
A year ago, my cousin (by marriage) died. She was thirty-one and died from complications with Cystic Fibrosis. It was long, painful, and arduous at the end. And she was a hero! Maggie wrote her own eulogy to be read at her memorial. It was hilarious and poignant and profound. I kept thinking that I hope it becomes a trend; this writing your own eulogy thing. And I knew her memory would live on.
Death seems so final. A year ago we were wrestling with much grief. You can read about it here. But, today, in my meditations, I was struck by how quickly memories can fade. I want to believe in the resurrection, and most days I do. But can I make a confession? Some days I cling to this belief with a mighty grip like a child holding tightly to her mama in a crowd. There are days when fear creeps in and along with it doubt, whispering haunting words to my soul.
If we were honest, then we would admit that we wonder, we fear that we will be forgotten. We fear that we will all be forgotten. Is it not the reason we work so hard? We desperately want to leave a mark on the world in hopes they will remember and never forget.
I recently officiated a funeral for some friends. They were friends who buried their child way too soon. The greatest fear when we bury a loved one is that they lived in vain. We fear that others will forget while we sit and remember. Could it be this is why senior adults tell so many stories? Is it fear that if we forget, then maybe no one else will remember either? And, if we cannot remember, then the person might be lost forever.
I have discovered that what we feel colors so much of what we believe. It shapes our perspective of the world and how we perceive it. In my own life, I am working to line up what I feel with what I know to be true. It involves meditating and visualizing the truth I see in scripture. It’s not enough to know the truth in our heads. We must visualize it and let it move to our hearts.
When I begin to wrestle with these doubts, I find myself drawn to the Gospels. I take comfort in Jesus as he also wrestled with Satan. But I also take comfort in what he did and said. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is on the cross hanging between two thieves. He declares to the one next to him that “today, you will be with me in paradise”. And that brings me hope when I start to forget.
I don’t know where paradise is or what it looks like, but Jesus is there and I am with him. In paradise, I am with Jesus. I am not alone and I am not forgotten. In paradise, my loved ones are not alone and they are not forgotten. Even if everyone else forgets, even if you forget or I forget, they are remembered. And they are not forgotten.
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus replied, “I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise.”