Through the priesthood bleesing I received the day my uncle died and the trip to the temple I made before the funeral, I found great comfort and calm. I handled this funeral far better than I have any other funerals of late.

(Disclaimer: The some of the following is by no means doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

As I left work on Thursday, one of my coworkers told me to imagine my uncle up there playing the harp. I instantly replied, "Nah. He's playing golf!"

My uncle had been an advid golf player before the Huntington's Disease took over his body. The image of my uncle playing golf on some Heavenly golf course still brings smile to my face.

Then my cousins reminded me he also had played softball. So now the image of him starting a softball league also makes me smile.

The day of his funeral, I had another image. I imagined that as soon as his spirit separated from his body that he started jumping up and down dancing a jig (or maybe the Hokey Pokey?) because he finally had control over his body (albeit a spirit body) once more.

One thing though, the man in the casket looked nothing like my uncle as I last saw him. He was ashen and very thin. His once dark hair with male pattern baldness was almost all gone and what hair left was grey. He also did not have the "horseshoe" mustache he had as long as I can remember. But now he is whole again. I hope he has that mustache when I get to meet him.

I belive the blessing, the temple trip and these happy/fun images really helped me handle this funeral. I shed no tears at the funeral even though I do miss him.

His brother-in-law, a minister or preacher, led the funeral service. It was short and sweet with him asking us to share fun stories about my uncle. That also helped.

I did not shed any tears until the graveside services, but then they were only relatively few. At the point, it became a bit more final, even though I know my uncle is on the other side of the veil and whole once more.

One thing that is always interesting about funerals is all the family member whom you have seen in ages hugging and saying, "It's so nice to see you." One person that ws definitely great to see was a cousin - son by my uncle's first marriage. He and I both agreed that our happiest childhood memories were playing together on Saturday's when we went to visit our grandparents. He had been my best friend and almost like a brother (being much closer in age to me than either of my brothers.) It was good to meet up and now we will be able to keep in touch once more.

Out of the unhappy, sometimes comes the happy. Happy that my uncle is now whole and happy once more. Happy to reconnect with a cousin from whom I was separated so many years ago because his mother didn't want him spending the summer with his father. Happy that we both feel the same way about the times we did have together. Also happy to finally have met his wife.

So the peace continues. I thank my Heavenly Father for sending the Holy Ghost to comfort me and give me peace. I am also so very thankful for the Plan of Salvation.

"All is well. All is well." (Come, Come Ye Saints, The Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter-Day Saints hymn Book)
 
 
Things have been rough for me since last night.

Let me warn you up front. I am very tenderhearted and sensitive.

At around 17:00, my mother called to tell my my 65-year old uncle was in the hospital with some (virulent) form of pneumonia and was not expected to make it through the night.

I made the mistake of turning the news on at 18:00 just to find out that Dan Wheldon had died in a horrific car crash while racing in Las Vegas. Then I saw the racers tributes and started losing control. I totally lost control when they played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes over the intercom system at the track during the tribute.

Barely under control, my cell phone rang again. I knew who it was and what they were going to say without looking at the phone.

Around 18:30 my mother called to tell me my uncle had died.

He had Huntington's Disease and had declined to the state of total incapacitation - except that he was cognitive of what was going on around him.

My aunt had put him in a nursing home last month. On Saturday she sent an e-mail update. Apparently no one had been to visit him and she made an impassioned plea for us to go see him at least once. I wanted to see him one more time. I was trying to work out when and how since he was so far away from me and in a part of the DC area that I am extremely uncomfortable driving (to the point of panic attacks) but I wanted to see him.

Obviously that did not happen.

In addition to grief, I felt guilt because I had not gone to visit him before he passed.

Three things helping me through are:

I read a talk by Elder David A Bednar titled The Tender Mercies of the Lord.

I received a priesthood blessing of comfort after that. (Then i read the talk again.)

Our Heavenly Father's Plan - especially the promise that "We Can Live with God Again" so some day I will see my uncle again.

Actually, there is another thing that helped. My uncle is back to his normal self now. He is no longer incapacitated.

It almost seems ironic (but there are no coincidences when it comes to the ways of the Lord) that my sudden passion to do family history work came when it did.

I need to contemplate whether or not to share my testimony about our Heavenly Father's plan with my aunt (who is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). And if so, I need to pray for the Holy Ghost to guide me as I write her (and my cousin still living with her) about it.

In the meantime, I have a funeral to attend on Friday night and graveside services to attend Saturday morning.

I was sobbing like child last night. I was in and out of tears at work until I had enough focus to do some tasks waiting for me. And though I am not distracted now, I am feeling at peace.

My uncle is well. He's happy to be normal again. The Lord has sent me His peace.

I'm sure there will be more tears in the coming days, but I will still have His peace.