An elderly man lay dying in his bed. In death's agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands.
With labored breath, he leaned against the doorframe, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven: There, spread out on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies. Was it heaven? Or was it merely one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?
Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table. His aged and withered hand made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when his wife suddenly smacked it with a spatula.
"Stay out of those," she said. "They're for the funeral."
She's not the only person to save something for a funeral that should have been shared long before. It often seems a shame that flowers are sent at a funeral rather than beforehand when they could truly be enjoyed. Many of the comments made at a funeral reflect the realization that we didn't express our feelings adequately to those we love while they were alive: "What a wonderful friend she was. I never told her how much I appreciated what she meant to me!" "I hope he realizes how much I loved him!"
Therefore comfort one another and edify one another, just as you are doing (1 Thessalonians 5:11).