They never figured out what was wrong, and I'm not sure what they finally recorded as cause of death -- there were many things that could have filled that space. At this point it doesn't really matter because tomorrow the faithful will gather to lay her to rest, to celebrate her life and to comfort one another in their grief and in their sorrow. We'll sing hymns and hear scripture and I will take many deep breaths to hold myself together.
I know it's not right to play favorites, and yet clearly this dear one was a favorite of many. She loved her children and grandchildren with fierceness. She did for others without ceasing. She held onto life, and was gracious to death. She laughed, throwing her head back and held onto your hand with a gentleness that made you feel special. She missed her husband and spoke of him fondly in a way that made me wish I had known him, and that I'd known them together. For two years I have loved her and tomorrow I will bury her. We will all take deep breaths, and when our prayers fail to be uttered, the Spirit will interceded with sighs too deep for words; when our memories fill our throats in a lump and the laughter can't chase the tears away and when it shouldn't, the tears will fall and the shoulders will shake and the family will cling to one another moving as one.
And we will commend her to the Lord, who has known her from the beginning and who rejoiced to welcome her at the end. Go in peace, dear one, go in peace.