Superheroes, Water Bugs and Dragonflies
Today, a gorgeous 3-year-old superhero with a golden mane of angelic curls, a soul even more beautiful and a spirit so strong it could take on the world, was laid to rest.
I attended his church memorial service and it was the first time I had ever been to such an event. Of course, being Muslim, I have attended many a funeral prayer, but this was the first time I had ever been to the Christian equivalent – and it was honestly one of the most beautiful and soul-touching experiences I have been blessed enough to have.
Although there were sobs breaking out around the church hall and many a silent tear being shed including my own, the service itself was just so warming and celebratory and there was this strong sense of unified love in the room, bonding everyone together despite many people being strangers to one another. Everyone became one in celebrating the short life of my friend’s little boy and bidding farewell to his body – knowing that his soul lives on, around us, everywhere.
Having a 2-year-old son myself, I cannot even possibly imagine what my old friend is going through – the pain she must feel no longer having her second-born around physically and the strength she must be willing to come forward so strongly each moment, just to get through each day. But I pray that the words in the service; the prayers spoken; the poetry read; the candles lit and the music performed, all brought her some sense of comfort, even if only for a moment.
Although I never met little Charlie in this lifetime, the energy in the church hall clarified that his soul was there, enjoying and revelling in this beautiful service which was all for him. And I hope so deeply, that when the time comes for each and every one of us to depart this world, that our lives are celebrated fully by those we leave behind.
Reverend Ellie who delivered the service spoke such profound words which struck me deeply, reiterating the fact that this is not the end of this little boy’s life and that he has just taken the next step in his journey, now being cradled in the arms of his Lord, resting eternally in love and light. She read the story of the Water bugs and Dragonflies in order to explain death as the incredible journey that it is, and although it is a story originally written for children, as an adult it hit me so powerfully that I found myself meditating on it’s words the entire journey home, and even now, as I lay tucked up in bed with my laptop.
The water bugs, just like our humanly selves, are living in their own little world, wondering where one of them disappears to every so often, never to return again. One day, one of the water bugs decides to ascend to the surface of the pond in which they live to find out for himself, but upon breaking the surface, he finds his old and frail body has suddenly sprouted stunning silver wings and he has transformed into a dazzling dragonfly, free and swooping through the air, delighted to be in this exhilarating new atmosphere. He attempts to go back down through the surface of the water in order to tell the other water bugs what has happened, but alas he cannot as he is now a dragonfly. He thinks to himself, “Even if I could go back, none of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too – then they will understand what happened to me, and where I went”. And then he flies off happily to dwell freely in his new world of light and air.
I guess as much as death can hurt us, the people left behind who have to learn how to rebuild a life without a loved one in it, we must, must remind ourselves on a daily basis that death is not the end – no, not ever. Death is just the beginning of a whole new flight for the soul and wherever our loved ones are now, they are free and pure, dwelling as Reverend Ellie said, in eternal light and love. Death is a veil, which we, as human beings, cannot see beyond but there will come a day when we too will slip through, returning to the Source from which we came.
So, as everyone in that Church hall did today, let us celebrate life – of the ones who have passed on and of what we have left on this earth. And like they say in the Lord’s prayer, “for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever” – and that is where we too will be one day, reunited, for ever and ever and ever.
Fly high dragonflies and superheroes – we’ll see you on the other side.