A dear friend, Connie Christensen, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly about a year ago. She was definitely a beloved woman., a wonderful mother of four children ranging from 8 years to 18 years of age, and a talented singer. Her death came as a shock, of course, but knowing the pain she had endured for a number of years stemming from a serious automobile accident, it came as somewhat of a relief, as well.
While contemplating this at a beautiful funeral service - and as a Mormon service, it was filled with an element of joy - I jotted down these three poems, which with only minor modification I want to share with you now:
This veil of tears – so aptly named –
It serves to give experience
That we might learn to walk in faith
And love, the counterpart of faith.
The grace of our wise, loving Lord,
The faith and love we hold within,
A broken heart and contrite spir’t,
Enable us to well endure
The pain and sorrow that this time,
This brief time in mortality
Serves up, so irrespectively
To each of us, beloved child.
And thus we know that those of us
Who take upon ourselves His yoke,
The which is easy, lightening
Our burden as we overcome
The trials and the hurts of life,
That we might find a fleeting joy –
But better yet, with love and faith,
And our Lord’s grace, when we
At last shuffl’ off this mortal coil,
We know there waits a joyful time
Of meeting with our Father, God,
Our source of love and faith and grace
And joy forever without end.
A choice and love-filled daughter,
Radiant, one bright-shining star
That dominates, illuminates
The otherwise obscure and dusky world:
One feels perhaps, that some foul adversary,
Some dark angel,
Deemed that she, so pure, so filled with light,
Should not receive the proper measure
Of the joy that any heart thus filled
Should have as due;
The stumbling blocks, the pains, the trials
All served to foil the wicked plot against her,
As she grew from saint to angel,
She, a radiant being of light and life to those around her.
Angels find their place in more celestial worlds
Than here among mere mortals.
Those of us who wish to go where she has gone,
A place of love and light,
Can, seeing her example,
Look to the brightness of the Son,
There find that same pure joy and light
That yet define this beautiful and
Christ-like daughter of the Father,
Now and yet forever.
Death and Life
By man came death into a fallen world:
The world reels to and fro as one drunken,
Staggering in self-absorbed obscurity
And self-destructive darkness;
Ignorant of its purpose, its state or future,
The world arrogantly sees its opulence and glory,
Smug in self-aggrandized wisdom
And importance, and does not see
Its own disease, a sickness unto death.
A world much too sophisticated
Cannot think to look to heaven,
To know of Him, one chosen since before
The earth was made to house the world,
To come and heal the world,
To lift the stains, remove the pain,
And offer life, eternal life.
The world will die, but those who will
Accept this gift will live forever
In His light and joy.