Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:17-18
Across the dirt mound were three containers holding the remnants of flowers and plants. The one in the center was large and flat, the centerpiece to the arrangement. It once held a giant spray of roses, bright and live. Now, these plants were all brown and shriveled. No color to them at all.
For the first time, yesterday, I visited Jana’s grave since the funeral. I was anxious after making the decision to go, then heading the truck in the direction of the cemetery. The day was mostly sunny and windy, the harvest chill in the air. The last time I was there it was hot and sunny, the summertime Jana loved so much.
I pulled onto the road that goes back to her plot. There is a large grave statue of an angel crying very close to Jana’s, I knew I would be able to find her spot easy using the angel as reference. I parked, got out and made my way back.
The dirt was wet from the overnight rains and the plants from the funeral were still placed, more or less, across the top. The plants themselves were well on the way to decay, but you could still make out the forms of flowers and leaves. The shape of the grave was clear, just the start of some vegetation was visible across the top. Next year the grass will grow in more substantially and begin to disguise the fact that this ground was ever disturbed.
I began to cry.
Jana is not there, although, I strained my eyes, looking into that dirt as if I could see six feet down and see what I remembered of her the day her body was placed here. In my mind, I pictured the outfit, the jewelry, the tussled hair… The flesh Jana occupied while I knew her.
I prayed through my tears.
Dear God! Thank you for my time with this woman! Thank you for your grace and the reunion I will have one day with this child of Yours! Thank you…thank you.
Before leaving, I cleaned the pots off the grave and enjoyed the back part of the cemetery which opens up to tree-lined fields. I looked closely at a couple of indentations in the dirt of the grave…wondering if they were deer steps. Wishful thinking maybe.
Then, I just turned and left. That was good. I may come back to bring the girls, but I am content. I have confidence in Jesus. He has overcome this place. He has conquered these graves. My faith is in Him.