One of my uncles passed away last week. He was 78-years-old. The fondest memory I have of my uncle dates back to when he and a couple of other uncles were helping my father with our roof. My Uncle Francis, or Uncle Buck as we all called him, had candy and threw it down at us from the roof. My brother and I were young and LOVED candy so we scrambled for it and as we did my Uncle Buck would make chicken noises. It's an unusual memory but it's the one I associated with him. My uncle also made amazing wine and was excellent with his hands whether in the garden or with carpentry. I know this has not been easy on my father. It is never easy to lose a loved one even though you know that heaven is winning a soul. We know he is at peace and with his wife who passed away two years ago. Still, their physical presence is missing from our lives and that is difficult.
It is not easy to explain death to a 3-year-old. As we headed to my Uncle Buck's funeral yesterday, I told Jack that when a person dies, they are no longer here. We cannot visit them anymore. They are in heaven. Jack said, "But the doctors can make him feel better." Sometimes, even the best medicine is not enough when it is time to go home.
I found comfort in today's reading from Ephesians 5: 8 - 14
For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it is said, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light."
Uncle Buck is no longer asleep but alive and in the presence of God and Christ. His love continues to shine in the hearts of those who will always love and remember him.