I wrote this article the day after my grandmother died in 2005. I hope you enjoy it!
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51,52
After Grandmother died yesterday, Aunt Ruanne, Uncle David, Ceci and I gathered in her room to pray, commit her Spirit to the Lord and to recite the 23rd Psalm. As we were completing our prayer, there was a timid knock on the door. It was Evan (age 11 at the time), and Ceci asked if he would like to come in to see Grandmother’s body. He said that he would like to. Evan looked at her intently for just a few moments, more out of curiosity than anything else, and then went on to resume his reading for a school composition on Ireland. Isaac (then 5 years old) then peeked around a corner and Ceci asked him if he would like to see Grandmother’s body. He stood at a little further distance but also looked at her intently. After a few moments, he followed Ceci outside, but unlike Evan his curiosity was not yet satisfied. The following conversation ensued:
ISAAC: Mama, when Grandmother gets to heaven, will she be 91 years old or just 0ne year old?
MAMA: I guess she will be brand new in the Lord, so I guess like one year old.
ISAAC: Will she starting all over again?
MAMA: I guess so.
ISAAC (wailing): Nooo!
MAMA: What’s wrong, sweetie?
ISAAC: I don’t want to have to become a baby all over again when I go to heaven!
Most of us don’t remember this, but it took a lot of work and learning to achieve five years of age, and the idea that all of that effort might be wiped out in the twinkling of an eye was simply not appealing to Isaac. I’m glad we don’t believe in Reincarnation, or Isaac would be in real trouble.
But, even though we do believe that we shall be changed when the Lord comes for us, we don’t believe that this life is meaningless. We will indeed be given a new start, but the doctrine of the Resurrection of the body means in part that we will continue to be ourselves—our personalities, our education, our character, and our memories will be redeemed but not erased.
Thanks be to God!