I close my eyes, and I see her face. She is smiling; I hear her laugh. I can feel the warmth of the love — the loves I saw most: of Jesus, and of her family — that was woven into the very fabric of her being.
Surely that love has been purified, perfected, deepened and completed.
Surely she is smiling and laughing in the light of such fulfilling joy.
And how joyous was her laughter!
Over the course of her life, there were people she had lost – just as we have lost her – and in those times she comforted herself in the knowledge that they were not truly lost at all, but simply elsewhere… that all those who belong to Christ are reunited in His kingdom… that even as those left behind sorrow in missing them, those who have left rejoice in their homecoming.
Today she is in that happiest of places, being welcomed to the home He had prepared for her. She is there with those she once missed, when they went on ahead of her. There is no room left over for sorrow or sadness in her full, glad heart.
Those left behind reel from the shock of her sudden departure.
Those left behind ache with her absence.
But those left behind who share her faith cling tightly to the Cross and the promises of God, and so we smile through our tears.