I could no longer feel my toes, but I didn’t mind. The voices mixed in the cold winter air, our breath dancing in the wind as we sang these songs of old. Hymn after hymn, led by an older gentleman with a hymnal. We joined in when we knew the words and sang them in our hearts when we didn’t. A family gathered to grieve the loss of a precious daughter, sister, cousin, niece, friend. Aimee’s casket is gently lowered into the ground as we sing. “Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.”
The crowd of one hundred or so gather in closer to keep warm. A concrete slab is lowered into the ground on top of the casket. I’ve never seen this done before, and though it makes sense why it’s done a pain shoots through my stomach as I think of the finality of this action. She is there, underground, she is buried. One by one the men pick up a shovel – her brothers, her father, her uncles work together to fill the hole before them. We sing, while they shovel. Flowers are passed around – beautiful flowers – roses of red, pink, and white. Those who take the flowers follow suit in throwing them toward Aimee, along with the dirt being thrown by the shovels. “This doesn’t seem right,” I think while I watch the beautiful flowers be tossed in with the heaps of dirt, “such beautiful flowers simply being thrown underground! Never to be seen by the world!” And then it hits me, Aimee’s beauty will never again be seen by the world. Those flowers lie underground along with Aimee.
But then I remember – that’s Aimee’s body. Her citizenship is in Heaven and her soul is now rejoicing with her King! Her beauty is there for all of Heaven to see and praise God for His work.
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.” Tiny snowflakes begin to fall all around us. Aimee’s mom turns her head from under the tent and upon noticing them her eyes fill with wonder, “Snow!” she exclaims, breathing a sigh of hope. The beauty of the gentle, white snow is cleansing.
One of our final songs together was that of hope and of joy. “I’ll fly away, oh glory. I’ll fly away. When I die, hallelujah by and by, I’ll fly away.” Aimee isn’t buried. She has risen to new life with our Lord Jesus Christ. And one day, we’ll join her.