Because Emily was ten years younger than I and a quiet member of a large and rambunctious family, I didn’t know her all that well, even though we were first cousins. Her funeral was a great help. The Church was packed, testimony to how deeply she was loved. The pastor spoke movingly of her faith and courage. But the best part was the eulogies by her friends and her husband. They were funny and powerful and loving.
I learned that quiet Emily had a wonderful sense of humor, a deep love for her family and friends, and an abiding faith in Jesus Christ. I mentioned the story that impressed me the most in my sermon yesterday. In the weeks before she died, Emily wept with a friend. Her friend thought Emily was grieving. In fact, Emily was weeping with gratitude for the beauty of her life.
Emily was the first of my generation of Hills to die, and I am the oldest. Her death has forced me to face my own mortality. I hope that when my time comes, I can approach death with some bit of Emily’s grace. In the meantime, she reminds me that I should focus on what really matters, not on the busy work that is a big part of most of my days. I should spend time with those I love, and make sure they know how much I love them.
I, too, am grateful for Emily’s life. May she rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.