Life is so fleeting. We never know from one day to the next what will come our way. The passing of my dear aunt drove that reality into my soul. But one thing I do know, Heavenly Father gives us challenges for a reason. When we are called upon to lose one we love so suddenly and unexpectedly, we are blessed to get through it. I felt the strength of the Larsen family as we attended both Judy's viewing and funeral. What a great turnout they had for the viewing! The line was clear down the hall! It took us almost 45 minutes to even get to the room where the casket was! What a tribute to her amazing life! Her school children, that she had to leave behind, make a crayon wreath for her. They also wrote notes, which Tara and Kristy put into a book, about the things they loved about their dear teacher. It was truly touching to see the outpouring of love from her dear kindergarten children. They are struggling with her loss too. But at such a tender age, such sadness is to be expected.
The funeral was nothing short of amazing! The spirit permeated the room. As we all gathered for family prayer, my heart just burned within me. I knew my aunt was happy. I knew she was with my grandpa, my uncle, my step-grandpa, and my sweet daughter. I knew her family would be strengthened through each awful day. We don't always know why things happen the way they do. I know I questioned so many times last week why Judy was taken now, so quickly after Grandpa Morgan. But truly through this whole experience, the Lord gave the family many tender mercies. Because of Grandpa Morgan's funeral, we all saw Judy one last time. The family also did not have to turn off the life support machines. She went quietly on her own. At Judy's funeral, many family members and extended family members were in attendance. I felt their strength and I wasn't even an immediate family member! There is such strength in family! I can't believe how much it meant to me to see my dear great aunts, uncles, and cousins surround the Larsen family! They needed that outpouring of love and it was there in abundance! The talks during the services were eloquent. The music was beautiful and touching. I wished I could bottle up the feelings I felt and lock them away forever!
I know our family will get through this time of loss. I am so grateful to belong to such a wonderful family. I have amazing aunts, uncles, and cousins who are stalwart examples of what a Christ-like person should be. If anything, their examples make me want to be a better person each day so I can be with them in the Celestial Kingdom someday. Maybe, just maybe, if I try as hard as I can, I can reach their level of excellence. I am so grateful for this experience, for the testimony builder it has been. I am thankful for the reminders that Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, walk with us each and every day. They bind up the broken heart and help the wounded soul to heal. They fill our hearts with peace. I am also equally grateful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I know the comforter was with us all during the past week. He will continue to be with us over the coming months.