Reader Dan Krauss‘ grandmother died about three weeks ago and he was tasked with the unenviable job of delivering the eulogy on behalf of his family. Dan’s not religious but his grandmother was Catholic and he wanted to strike a balance between the two worlds that wouldn’t disrespect her beliefs but also wouldn’t compromise his own.
What he came up with was, I think, a perfect combination:
I’ve been doing a lot of what some people would call soul searching lately. I’ve looked at many religions and learned a lot about science. Bev, known to many of us as Mom or Grandma, was a Catholic. If she were to speak, I think she would state her excitement at going to Heaven. She would be glad to see all of her friends that parted with our world before her. She would be able to see Grandpa again. She would live in eternal happiness, waiting for us to join her. And all of us who believe similarly should be glad that she’s there. We should be happy that she’s been re-united with her loved ones and will be waiting to welcome us home when our time comes, likely with plenty of the chocolate and desserts she loved! (Hopefully you don’t gain weight in Heaven!)
For those who don’t believe in Heaven, there is still a better way to look at this than as a tragedy. Grandma lived a wonderful, fulfilled life. She had seven children, who mostly turned out okay. She has more grandchildren than I care to count. She has friends in this room that I’ve never had the pleasure to meet and likely many more. And what’s important to us is that her passing will not go unremarked. We all speak to that. All of us were touched by her and will all remember her. So if you don’t think we will all meet again in heaven, then keep this in mind:
In our universe, energy never disappears. Everything that made up grandma is still around; she is now among us, a part of our planet, our Sun, our galaxy, and our Universe. She is among the stars!
And never forget! Never forget that all of the photons that ever bounced off of Grandma’s face, all of the particles of light that were interrupted by her smile, the twinkle in her eye as she cheated at another game of Chinese Checkers, and the spoon of ice cream she raised to her mouth in joy; all of these particles of our universe ran off like little children in delight at having encountered her, their paths changed forever by her touch.
And that energy that was Grandma will go on forever inside of all of us as well. In our memories are the photons of light that reflected off of her smiling beauty into our eyes. We will always have some of her energy inside of us and that’s a scientific fact.
According to the Law of the Conservation of Energy, not a bit of Grandma is truly gone. She’s just less orderly, her energy spread out to encompass us all.
(Image via Shutterstock)