Today I Wear Black Underwear
(by Jan Takle)

Today I wear black underwear

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart and tears because a very dear friend lost her son to cancer and his memorial service is this afternoon. I won’t be able to attend physically but my heart is with his family (his wife, his children, and of course my friend and her mother’s heart along with the rest of their family).  I know that we are not to grieve as others do who have no hope. But there is a time to mourn and a time to rejoice. For my friend’s son, I rejoice as he is free indeed. And for my friend I mourn. And for what is lost and what will not be, I mourn for his family, especially for his children.

A few years back, there was a friend of mine who renamed herself Zoe, after the Greek word for “life”. She was a light this side of heaven. When her light was removed far too early, she had left specific instructions to her people not to wear black to her funeral. The memorial event was to be a remembrance of her living and we were not to grieve her passing, only celebrate what we had been given in our time with her. That was fine for her to demand, as she shone (no doubt) in heaven as she had not been able to on this earth. However, I missed my friend and her light and found comfort for myself in wearing black underwear to her memorial. And a friend of mine part way through the day also confessed to be wearing black underneath the outward gaiety of colorful garb. So together we wore our grief secretively and sort of rebelliously to honor our friend and her life as we felt we needed to.

This is a day that the Lord has made and there are things to celebrate as surely as the sky is above and the ground is beneath. And yet, today I wear black underwear. Heaven is brighter and this planet has lost a light far too early. Blessings and comfort to my friend and her people now and in the days to come.

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