Why am I talking about Funerals today? Because for reasons I'll post later, I'm newly aware of the entire life cycle and have been thinking of my deceased grandmother of late. Also, because I saw an article about the upcoming funeral/celebration of Hunter S. Thompson. Warning: this thread is _not_ to the place to discuss suicide; and anysuch comments will be deleted. While I'm not sure about the more flamboyant details of Thompson's proposed "funeral," nor do I encourage cremation (which many view as desecration of the mortal, bodily, temple), Thompson's widow, Anita Thompson, said "the event will be a celebration."
Her use of the term "celebration" really struck a chord in me. For those that are humble enough to set aside their own sadness and personal loss of assocation, there is much to be celebrated when one of Heavenly Father's children returns to him.
Funerals should be a celebration; yet historically, they tend to be rather sad, morose affairs will folks clad in black. The only net benefit usually is that it becomes an impromptu family reunion. Now, I'm not saying that death doesn't bring sadness to the deceased's family, or that they won't miss the deceased. However, I am saying that there is great cause for celebration when someone returns to their heavenly home.
1. Only our physical bodies are mortal; the Spirit is immortal.
2. Before we came to this earth and a mortal existence, we lived with our Heavenly Parents as their spirit children in our previously heavenly home.
3. When the Spirit leaves the body, it returns to its Heavenly Parents from which it originally left.
So, rather than feeling saddened by the loss that we personally feel at the, temporary, loss of a loved one; why not celebrate:
1. The deceased's reunion with our Heavenly Parents?
2. The deceased's reunion with their loved ones who died before them?
While I was saddened when my grandmother passed away (almost 2 years ago today), I was cheered to know that she was now with her parents, with whom she was very close, and hadn't seen in so many years. While I was very close with my grandmother, I don't think that my, temporary, sorrow, would even come close to dampening the great joy that my grandmother must have felt to be with her mortal parents again. I was also recently cheered by my mother telling me that my grandmother's temple work was done for her. While I do not know if she will accept the vicarious ordinances or not (she was very devoutly Catholic, and while she read the Book of Mormon at my request, and liked it, she never brought herself to pray and ask God directly about its truth), I can at least hope and rest easy knowing that she was reunited with both her Heavenly, and mortal, Parents.
I love you Grandma. While I'm not eager to join you just quite yet, I know that I will see you again. http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2005-05-27-Depp-to-help-honor-Thompson_x.htm