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Earth Has No Sorrow That Heaven Cannot Cure

As we arrived early Thursday morning at the funeral home there was another funeral service ahead of us. The look on the face of the young man holding a picture of apparently his mother said it all. I look at Vernon to see if he was holding up okay, he had the same look. I asked him if he was doing OK he said “I’m OK”.

We did not wait too long before it was our turn. We were waiting in a little room seated at a round table, three men came in talked to Vernon’s cousin and then one of the men took a picture of mommy out of a big manila folder and asked if we wanted the picture in a frame. We said “in a frame”. The man put the picture in the frame then put the framed picture on a stand and gave it to Vernon. One of the other men guided Vernon to the hallway. He had me stand next to Vernon and as we stood there Vernon’s cousin and three other men brought mommy’s coffin out and stood behind us. They told us to go. We walked down the hallway to the outside where a large bus was waiting. They placed mommy’s coffin, in the storage compartment. It was beautiful on the inside. I thought to myself ‘Mommy would like this’. She loved pretty things.

Vernon and I stood there not saying a word. Vernon holding on to his mother’s picture, holding on knowing this was the last time he would hold her. The man driving the bus told us to get in the bus. As I looked to see if Vernon was OK he was wiping away the tears. He looked like a little boy needing his mother. I said nothing this time I knew I just needed to be there. No words were needed to be said.

The ride was long and silent. Vernon held tight to his mother’s picture every once in a while wiping a tear from his eyes. We soon pulled up to the crematory. The bus door opens and we get out, Vernon first, me, his cousin and Sook. Vernon is told to stand on the red carpet. His cousin and the driver go to bring the coffin out. A golden cart is brought over to carry the coffin. Sook, Brother Yoon, (Vernon’s cousin), and I were ask to push the coffin behind Vernon as he walked into the building.

We were lead to an elevator that took us to the cremation room. The coffin was placed on the belt that carried the wooden box with a velvet drape on top into the cremation oven. We were lead to a little room directly across from the oven with a black drape that covered the window. Mommy’s picture was placed on the shelf in front of the window and the box we would carry her ashes in. We were told it takes 1 ½ hours to burn, so we were told to go down stairs where there was food for the families as they waited to be called. I kept thinking about mommy’s coffin going into the ovens and I could not help thinking she was all alone.

Time seemed to go very fast and we were back in the little room. The black drape was removed and they told us to stand at the window so we could see them put mommy’s ashes into the box. Vernon said nothing, Sook rubbed his back. The box was brought back to the window and put through a small opening. The box was given to Vernon and his cousin held mommy’s picture. And we walked out back to the bus. It was over, I looked at Vernon and said, “You OK?” and he smiled and said “I’m OK.” Nothing more was said. His smile said it all.

Sabbath afternoon at my mommy’s memorial service the Pastor said, as Christians we should not use the term ‘passed away’, when a love one dies. We should always say he/ she is sleeping in Jesus. He said when you use the term ‘passed away’ it shows you have no hope. That is what makes the difference he said, between a believer in Christ and one who doesn’t believe. He told us not to sorrow too long because we have this hope.

Looking at the pictures of mommy’s tribute of her life through the years, I noticed one thing, in her younger years after she gave Vernon away she did not smile in her pictures. She had this empty look in her eyes. I know that look. When a mother has to give her child away because her situation demands it, that emptiness surrounds her. So it was with me when my situation demanded I give my son away. This darkness of emptiness is like a black hole ready to swallow you up.

Thank God for the joy of restoration, when I looked at the pictures of mommy after the reunion of Vernon and herself, mommy had a sparkle in her eyes and a smile to go along with it. No longer surrounded by that black hole of darkness and emptiness. The very hope that the pastor talked about in his Celebration of Life sermonette.

The service was sweet and full of love from her Church family. Vernon and I were very pleased. Vernon said a few words of thanks for their treatment of love towards his mother. He said to them if they didn’t mind he would like to adopt them as his new family and the congregation said “YES!”

We wait for that great getting up morning when the dead in Christ are called to wake up and to meet Him in the air. What a glorious day that will be. No more pain, no more sorrow, no more death, no more tears.

Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure.

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