We hung out there most of the day, though my didi went to a neighbor’s house to talk. I stayed with the rest of the guests, family, and baby! :) As it became closer to the evening, my mind began to wander and count how many days I had left in village. I was shocked to count 60 and texted it to my mom. Her response was to call in 5 minutes. I wanted to start heading back home, but knew some of my neighbors would want to go with me. Sure enough, when I stood up to call - I had to let them know I was only calling and that I would go back with them (even though I know the way and it was nowhere NEAR dark!)
I called my mom to hear that my uncle passed away. It was not completely unexpected as last week they gave him 24 hours to live, but at the same time it was ‘cause he had been pulling through. My family has been trying to go there since my uncle was given a short time, but my brother has been sick for the last week and traveling isn’t a good idea for him. I believe it was a total God thing that my dad was able to get a semi direct plane ticket a couple days ago. He was able to spend time with his brother before he passed.
The prayers now are for my family as they grieve the loss as well as for my brother to get well so my mom and him are able to attend the funeral. Doctor appointment is today so hopefully they get things figured out and fixed soon. In the meantime while I was told this, I began crying. Long story short, my Nepali family went and got my didi to go back home with me. My didi’s uncle passed away a week ago so she helped me keep in mind that death is a part of life. The walk back is also when I confirmed my suspicions about it being the first rice eating celebration.
Two things about the Nepali culture came up that I do not like. You are told it’s ok to be sad, but not to cry. Hugging other adults is also seen as strange and not done. When I am sad, that is exactly what I do - cry and want a hug… Despite that, my Nepali family supports me in other ways and my fellow volunteers are there for me to verbal process it out and save hugs for when I see them next. I am blessed beyond measure! That last phrase is from the song “In Christ Alone” by Brian Littrell.
That song speaks exactly what my thoughts are as I think about how this is my fifth death in my family since I have been here. I have been reflecting on how I worked through my aunt passing and each passing until now. It’s also brought me back to the time when my pastor’s wife had a miscarriage while on a missions trip in Scotland. A classmate and I sang “Blessed be Your name” by Matt Redman while in the prayer room. Whenever I experience loss, I go back to that time and remember singing that song, which brings me to begin singing it in my mind.
Life and death. Death is a part of life. For me, today was a celebration of life as well as grief in death. Above all things, He is God. It’s up to us what we do with that fact. Please keep my family in your prayers.
P.S. I just remembered that my devotion today was about entrusting loved ones to God. Of course, at the time I was thinking it was not applicable to me. “My Presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest.” Exodus 33:14.