Today is a somber day at my house. My sister-in-law, Tammy, succumbed to cancer last night. It was certainly not the outcome that we'd hoped and prayed for, but there is comfort knowing that she is no longer in pain and is now free of suffering.
As I've contemplated her passing, I've thought much of the Plan of Salvation. Though we cannot recall our time in the pre-existence, I imagine we had relationships very similar to the ones we enjoy in mortality. I would even guess that we nurtured relationships with our own mortal families. As we looked forward to our turn to obtain a physical tabernacle, I would think we also felt a bit sad at the thought of leaving people behind in the pre-existence. We probably knew that mortality is a step in our eternal progression and that we'd have wonderful opportunities for great joy and peace as we traversed through our mortal lives. We were probably also told that if we made the right choices we would be reunited with our loved ones from the pre-existence here in mortality. I'm sure, for a time, we missed those whose turn at mortality came before ours, but found comfort knowing we'd have the opportunity to see them again.
And so it is now. We live here in mortality, building and maintaining relationships, trying to make the choices that will unite us for eternity. Some must leave mortality sooner than others. Some, it may seem, leave before their work is done or before we think they should leave. It's hard to say goodbye. We do not have the memories of the pre-existence and must rely on faith. We must believe that there really is a plan, that Heavenly Father is in control, and that, if we live worthy, we will be reunited with our loved ones.
Just as we experience the incredible joy at the birth of a child, I'm sure those who've passed through the veil before us, experience a similar joy when we leave mortality and enter into paradise. Though we are sad and will miss Tammy, I can't help but imagine the reunion that's going on right now. Her father, grandparents, and others are circled about her, embracing her, loving her, and welcoming her home. They have probably all been anticipating her arrival, anxious to see her. What a reunion, indeed.
And isn't that the essence of the whole plan? To be reunited with those we love.
Tammy will always be part of our family and we will always love her and remember her with great affection. She has left a legacy of faith and courage. She has taught me so many things. I'm am so thankful I had the opportunity to know and love her.
Someday, we will all see her again.