The following is excerpted from LDS Living. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
Planning a funeral is not something leaders of a young single adult ward ever expect to do. But when a member of our ward passed away unexpectedly and her family was not in a position to organize a service for her, my friends and I looked to each other in ward council and asked if anyone knew the first thing about ordering flowers.
I was the Relief Society president at the time and was shocked when I heard the news about Holley’s death. I knew she was in poor health, but she’d always seemed to be in poor health, and I hadn’t heard about any new developments.
Holley had been in our ward since before I’d moved in two years ago. She suffered from severe depression, struggled with her weight, and only had one arm due to a rare degenerative skin disease. Her clothes looked old and never really seemed to fit, and she usually wore a pair of Crocs that were not nearly big enough for her. She lived in a housing unit for people with serious mental illness. Holley could not drive and required a ride to every church-related function she wanted to come to, which was most of them. Besides that, she was frequently in and out of the hospital for her serious mental illness and needed transportation to and from her appointments. It seemed that every week our bishop was reaching out for someone to help Holley through her most recent mental health crisis or run some sort of errand for her. I don’t know her family situation, but they seemed unavailable to help address these almost daily needs.
Rather than just having one ministering companionship assigned to Holley, we assigned a whole team of ward members. But it never seemed like enough. To me, Holley felt like a problem that would never be solved—a point of stress for me and the whole ward with no end in sight.
But then she died. There was no long hospital stay, no warning. She was just suddenly gone. Because it didn’t seem like my place to ask, I am unsure of the exact cause of her death. As I tried to come to terms with the seeming deep unfairness of Holley’s short and difficult life, I found peace as the Spirit taught me something about the lasting spiritual blessing that she and others who have debilitating long-term struggles provide for the people around them.
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.