This morning, we laid to rest the earthly body of Gerrit Pot, Ralph's dad. We celebrated his life with family and friends this afternoon, and we give thanks for that. It's a bittersweet feeling. We know he is no longer suffering, but we now suffer his absence.
He had a special connection with his grandchildren, and we loved his love for Rachel and Janneke. I've posted these photos before, but they still speak to the care and attention he gave them.
I struggled with how to involve Rachel and Janneke these last few days of family time, visitation and the funeral. Do they even understand death? Last night, both Rachel and I were restless, and I got this sense that she knew something was different. This morning, Ralph and I decided she would join us at the funeral - if anything, to be a part of the family for Oma's sake. Following the procession into the church, I sat down beside Sophia and took Rachel out of her wheelchair to sit on my lap. As soon as she sat on my legs, she tilted her head to lean on Sophia's shoulder. I moved Rachel to sit on the pew between Soph and me, and she leaned on Soph most of the service. It was obvious there was a shared emotion. I can't prove that Rachel was grieving, but I do believe she knew Sophia was sad - and knew we were sad as a family. It was a powerful moment.
We give thanks for Dad's life, and we give thanks for the gift of family. These past few days have been filled with reflections, and we are reminded of the grace God extends to us and the grace we ought to extend to each other - through the thick and thin moments of life. We have appreciated the meals and various forms of support from our extended community; the fellowship of the saints rocks.
Death is real, but Life prevails.