The sweet notes drifted through the sanctuary as the saxophonist began to play. God joined in on the thunder, perfectly befitting the somber, yet joyous people gathered below Him.
It sounds odd to describe people at a funeral as joyous, but there was joy. There were tears; there was laughter and stories and sadness and celebration, but most of all, there was peace. One look at her mom standing proud in the front row and you immediately saw where Angie got her strength. Her father, brother and fiancé were holding up well, too. But her mom, her mom was solid; grieving, but not despairing.
Many services for the departed claim to be Celebrations of Life, but this was the first one I attended that truly lived up to the designation. It was also the first time I’ve heard people pay their respects without any exaggerations. Angie was so incredible, it would have been impossible to exaggerate and be even remotely believable.
The celebration was beautiful. People from throughout her life’s journey shared their remembrances. Everyone who spoke praised God for the gift she had been to their lives. There was no anger, at least not here. No demands, no “why, oh why” pleas. Just peace, and love and celebration.
Our tears flowed. Even the friend sitting next to me who promised herself she wouldn’t cry had to dab at her eyes with her tissue from time to time. We mourned. But we also celebrated. And I think that’s exactly what Angie would have wanted.