The following is the last part of the eulogy that I gave at my grandma’s funeral. Before I read this, I asked the audience to close their eyes and see with their hearts. I believe this may have been very close to what my grandma experienced after she left this world. I hope that you enjoy reading it.
The Final Walk
Milliseconds after drawing her final breath, she opened her eyes to the most glorious light that she had ever seen. Then she heard a calm, soft voice say the words that she had been waiting all of her life to hear. The voice said, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” As her eyes began to focus on the sound of the voice, she realized that the light was emanating from the figure that stood before her. The figure stretched out His hand, and she instinctively took it and began walking.
As she walked within the awesome light of the figure, all the questions and problems that she had carried with her on this earth began to fade away. As these questions and problems began to lift, she noticed that she was walking better and faster than she had walked in years. As more questions were answered and more problems began to fade away, she realized that she was running like she had never run before. She was running at an alarming speed toward an unknown destination, and she was not even the slightest bit winded by her run. She felt free and completely at peace. It was a peace that went far beyond her understanding and a peace like she had never known.
She soon realized that she was running down a street of gold and that a crowd was beginning to gather. The crowd was excited and cheering her every step. She recognized some of them as those who long ago left her life. They were mostly friends and old acquaintances that she had long ago forgotten, but as she ran by them her memory began to come back and she could remember every conversation she ever had with them. There were even strangers lining the streets and cheering her on. They seemed to know her, but she could not remember them. As the crowd swelled, she began to see family members whom she had had to give up. She saw her brothers, sister-in-laws, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. They, too, were cheering her on and celebrating her arrival.
As she reached the end of the street, there was an even bigger crowd gathered. They were cheering loudly, jumping up and down, and waving her on. She thought at first her eyes were deceiving her because one of the women jumping the highest and cheering the loudest was her mother who had died a feeble and old woman years before. Next to her was her father who had died when she was in her twenties. He, too, was cheering her on, and she quickly noticed that he was standing on two legs and she thought to herself, “How can this be possible? My dad lost his leg long before he passed away.” But there he was standing on two legs and jumping up and down.
Then the figure of light stepped forward again. He had somehow beaten her to the finish line, and she knew that the figure was God Himself. In his arms was a baby that she recognized immediately. The baby was Paul Jerry, the son she had lost so many years ago. As God handed her the baby, her knees became weak for just a moment as she cradled Paul Jerry in her arms and showered him with kisses. Then God said, “Welcome home, Ruth. We have all been anxiously waiting your arrival and we are so happy to see you.”
With these words, the crowd burst into a thunderous applause like Ruth had never before heard. Then God spoke again and said, “Follow me.” Ruth did as she was asked and followed God along with the crowd. They soon arrived at a home that had been especially prepared for her. As the house came into view, God began telling her how her mother had been preparing the home for her arrival. He explained to Ruth that people have jobs to do in Heaven, and her mother had asked that her job would be preparing Ruth’s home. When Ruth looked at the house, she noticed a handsome man leaning in the doorway with his arms crossed, and she realized in an instant that it was Norman. He looked at her and said, “Welcome home babe.” She ran to greet him, and they exchanged a long loving embrace that she had felt in the wee hours of the morning every time she thought of him and longed for his touch.
Then God said, “We have one more stop to make.” He led Ruth and the crowd into an enormous stadium filled with more people than Ruth had ever seen gathered in one place. When she walked into the middle of the stadium the crowd erupted once again, and Ruth looked at God with one more question on her face. Then God said, “Ruth, these are all the people that you touched or helped in some way when you were on earth. Some of them you encouraged, and many others were the recipients of your generosity. Some of these people continued to live their lives because of something you said to them, and some of them came to know me because of you.” Ruth said, “But I don’t even know some of these people.” God replied, “Ruth, when you touch one life it spreads and it touches another life and another and another and another. The goodness people do on earth spreads like wildfire, and you started lots of fires in my name, and you have been richly rewarded for that.
So in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead when you start missing grandma, I want you to remember this story. Realize that she is happier than she has ever been and that she has been richly rewarded for all the good she did while she was on this earth. When it is your time to take your final walk down the streets of gold, you can rest assured that grandma will be standing at the end of the line cheering, jumping up and down, and waving you on to your great reward. When I think about that it gives me such peace, and I think it will give you peace too and PEACE MATTERS.
I want to let all of you know how much I appreciate all the prayers, support, and encouragement you have given me during this time of great loss in my life. I also wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and reading all of these stories about my grandma’s life. I have read all of your comments and each one of them has touched me in a very special way. I try my best to reply to every comment that is left. Unfortunately, you do not get any notification of that reply, so I hope that you occasionally go back and read my responses. Being able to share my grandma’s stories with all of you has been an honor that I am very thankful for. Knowing that even one of you has been positively affected by an experience that she had while living on this earth is the icing on the cake. Writing these stories and sharing them with all of you has served as a healing process for me and has given me a chance to share my love of my grandma with more people. Each time I have posted one of her stories and then read your comments in response to the story, I have felt more peace enter my spirit and as you all know, PEACE MATTERS!