This Is Not The End
I remember the funeral. I remember my little sister figeting next to me, the songs that were sung, the little white casket, the way my mother couldn't stop weeping. I remember the years after her death where my family tried to rebuild itself from the emotional rubble that was left after such a terrible heart break nearly destroyed us. I remember visiting her grave in my youth, and being scared and sad. And I remember going to that same grave as a grown-up and thinking about the sister I didn't get to grow up with but who, someday, I will get to know because of the first thing I can remember: my family being sealed for eternity in the temple.
The first memory I have is of walking into a sealing room in the Oakland temple, seeing my parents and thinking how pretty my mom looked, and then being sealed to them - being bound to them for eternity.
A few weeks ago I walked out of that same temple, but this time I walked out sealed to a new family, a family that is organic to me and my husband. I walked out of that temple with a promise, that if I do the things I know are right, if I make my best efforts, and recognize and repent when I don't - because I won't always do the right or best thing - then I get to be with my husband and the family we'll create forever. I don't have to worry about never seeing him or my children again. I will get to hold his hand for eternity. And I love that. I love that I don't have to worry about never meeting my sister, we will have an eternity to get to know each other. There has never been anything that has made more perfect sense to me than the gospel of eternal families.
I know there is life after death, I know the sealing power of the temple is real, I know family is not just a here and now thing, it's a forever thing... and I wouldn't have it any other way.