I was looking at a bunch of epitaphs and blank funeral bulletins and then I saw a simple epitaph on face book – rest in peace, love you and miss you. It was a simple response of a daughter to the death of her mom.
It is touching to hear or read the eulogy of those who have lost loved ones to death when the words are spoken or written, “rest in peace, love you and miss you”. In the case of children we miss not only what they were, beloved children, but the grief lies in “missing” what we hoped they would become. In the case of elderly parents it is not just missing their presence now, but missing what they were. They were proctors in the great school of life and the embodiment on earth of the God who created us so that we are to give them honor, serve and obey them, and hold them in love and esteem. They may become over the years, great reservoirs of advice that we in our waywardness only appreciate when it can no longer be offered. At their best they become models of what we hope we can be, and at their worst, in the frailty of all humanity, they may be examples of what we hope never to become. In any event they are examples and as such we must mark them as gifts.