2018 has not been that great a year for us in Upstate New York so far. The big blizzards at the start of the year, and barely halfway through February and mom broke her arm and needs a joint replacement surgery. She's Orthodox Christian, and as dad says 'there is no ox so stubborn as an Orthodox.' If mom's experience can be believed, and I think it can, not even death can keep a person from church if that is where they want to be.
In 1998, after finishing a master's degree at Syracuse University, I moved to Columbus OH intending to get a job with a company out there. Sadly, I never did. After I moved, someone chose to convert and join the church. Mom told me that whenever she was at a service, this person whom I will call John, simply because it is so common a name, also attended. The priest, in fact, stated at John's funeral that he would be present at every service: baptism, wedding, funeral, evening prayers, vigils, and of course the regular Sunday worship. He was a fixture until he fell ill and his residence became a hospital, and then an extended care facility.
About two years before I returned from Ohio, mom told me, she came to church for Sunday liturgy and saw John sitting in his usual pew, looking healthy, smiling, happy to be there for services again. During coffee and fellowship after liturgy, mom went up to one of John's friends and said how happy she was to know John was better and able to come to church again. "He died last night," she was informed.
I'm not surprised he was in church, since I believe after we die and until the proper time for us to pass over comes, we are free to go wherever we desire. That he loved church so much, where else would he have gone?