Friday, January 26, 2007

Another Whack at Mortality

I got married nearly 34 years ago in Logan, Utah, and as a result acquired a mother-in-law of the first rank. Even though the marriage ended many years ago, she and I managed to stay in touch. She let me know that she loved me.

Pearl died earlier this month. I wanted to say here that she'll be missed, but all of us she touched will remember her for her warmth, her love, and for her spectacular quilts. It seems she was always working on the next quilt.

Writing about her death brings me up against my own mortality. Pearl went back to her Heavenly Father. Someone in the family composed a beautiful obituary. I don't think my own obituary is going to read anything like it. I'm not going back to Heavenly Father or the Celestial Kingdom.

Death is a reminder for those of us still living. Life here ends. Sometimes quickly, sometimes very slowly. Sometimes it's a mess. Sometimes death is a comfort and a relief. And sometimes death is unrelievedly sad. But life ends, and we go on without. And someday, my life and your life will end, and Pearl's death brought me up against that truth once again.

I loved Pearl, and I honor her memory, her life, and her death. She was and is a wonderful woman, and a life well-lived. She left behind a bustling, growing, family full of life and promise. She left a legacy that will continue for many generations.

I treasure my memories of this woman. I ponder the mystery of her death in the richness of her life.