This is the resurrection view for Dave Myhre--a ridge of pine and swooping gulls, overlooking the pacific. It's been a full week now, since he died, with hours of little details one might not expect. Cleaning out the room in the nursing home, saying goodbye to the kind caregivers there. Meeting at the funeral home, the cemetery, to re-sign a dozen documents. Gathering facts to write an obituary. Taking that and a photo to the local newspaper office. Meeting with the pastor about a memorial service. Receiving visitors, and food. Going to the florist to arrange flowers for the church. Choosing music and Scriptures. Sorting through a thousand photos to choose a few dozen for a slideshow. Scanning them. Talking to relatives on the phone. Writing thank you notes. Canceling dentist appointments and prescription refills. Trips back and forth to the airport. Tears at times, and weariness. Julia and Luke breathed fresh air into all of this for several days. As Dave was in his last hours, we bought them tickets to come out for the following weekend, each missing some school and work but maximizing time with Nana and the family. Due to other considerations the memorial service timing got switched to tomorrow (Wednesday) instead of two days ago (Sunday) while they were here, but we had a sweet time of sitting on the beach sharing memories in Grandad's honor, spent lots of time as a family with Nana, took a couple of bike rides along the ocean, and visited the grave site. He will also be buried tomorrow, at the site pictured above.
This past week, a creative American prophet-song writer named Chance the Rapper performed a new song on late night TV. Perhaps my interpretation is colored by the reality of our family events but I found it to be a profoundly hopeful song. Chance talks humbly and self-reflectively about the American dream, and the emptiness of that in ways that wealth and fame do not satisfy but actually make life more complicated. But the song returns again and again to the image of waking up from a dream, to a new day. A time of justice, and peace. A very Biblical vision of resurrection.
The day is on its way. No more sorrow, no more tears. No more shooters with automatic weapon stockpiles murdering concert-goers in unprecedented domestic gun violence numbers. No more hurricanes wiping out homes and livelihoods. No more lonely widows, bereaved children, years of separations. The day is on its way, and we are called to bring it to bear with all we do here on this earth.