Mama was buried yesterday. It was a happy send off! The past few days have been filled with singing and laughter. Tears, too, of course. It feels so strange to have her gone. But as Christians, we firmly believe that she is now in heaven with her Lord Jesus, so there is a happiness we feel for her soul and a sadness only because we miss her so.
About a thousand people paid their last respects to Mama. That's a rough estimate. People kept pouring into the chapel throughout all hours of the day. Each one had a lovely story to tell about Mama. There was even a woman that Mama just met two weeks ago (Mama asked to share a table at a restaurant) and she came because she said she wanted to tell us how absolutely blessed she was when she met Mama. Strangers kept telling me that they met Mama briefly at a mall or a lobby somewhere and how her smile was unforgettable and how Mama cheered them up, telling them, "I'll pray for you." I am so flabbergasted at how Mama affected people!
We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Because my Mama loved music, people got up to sing, play musical instruments, and dance! It was amazing. It was like a four-day concert of the very best musical talents. A choir filled the room with their voices. My younger brother wrote her a song, which got everyone crying. Papa's own song for Mama had everyone in tears, too (yeah, that just killed everybody). But Mama would not have wanted us to be sad so the tears had to be wiped away and everyone was encouraged to sing and sing. It was such a celebration of Mama's life. She would have been absolutely thrilled!
She also looked fantastic. I kid you not. Someone said, "She's the best looking dead person I've ever seen!" Even my makeup-artist friend took one look at her and said, "She looks flawless!" People who saw her kept exclaiming, "She is so beautiful!" I know it sounds disrespectful but it's true--Mama looked so lovely, it was unsettling. She looked like she was just sleeping and having a very good dream, too. We all kept staring at her in disbelief. In fact, my little niece kept knocking on the glass to wake her up. Poor thing... Indeed, we all are convinced she died happy and at peace and she must've seen God just before she died because her face was so radiant in death.
The past few days have been a blessing truly. We feel a sadness of course but we also feel peaceful and filled with joy. The love people have shown Mama and our family overwhelms us so. She gave her life fully to Christ, her family, her friends, even to complete strangers. She surrendered her all. She never held back! And now, in death, life rewarded her just as passionately. May we all live our lives as fully as she did.