Golden Rule #13: Don’t Give Up.
A different kind of day today. Our family just learned of the passing of a beloved cousin/aunt, Margaret Reiber. You know how you have some aunts and uncles that aren’t all that much older than you are so they’re more like cousins? That was Margaret. Margaret Fern, in fact, named for her mother.
Margaret had spunk, and sparkle, and she loved a good joke better than almost anyone else. Her giggle was distinctive and contagious.
She adored her family, and they sustained her. Randy, her husband, was her chief cheerleader and companion. Jeffrey, her son and oldest child, was long-anticipated and greatly cherished. Kelly, her daughter and youngest, was the joy of her heart.
There is no grief quite like that of losing someone you’re just not done needing yet, and that is where we find ourselves this day. We had hoped and prayed that Margaret would recover from this illness and live well into old age to see her children married and grandchildren born, but that chapter was not in her story. Instead, we know that Margaret’s life is complete just as it is, with the conclusion written in a glorious stretch of fall that she would have loved so much. She is perfectly well and at peace now, with no more suffering or treatments or uncertainty.
We will celebrate her life, and cherish her memory, and listen for her laughter…and in time, we will be together again. I love this passage from C. S. Lewis’ The Last Battle: “And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”