To Awake Satisfied – An Advent Devotional

Each year, the parishioners of my church, Holy Comforter, contribute devotionals for the season of Advent. This is my contribution for 2010. 
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
When I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.
-Psalm 17:15

December 3, 2010, is the seventeenth anniversary of the death of my sister-in-law, Ann Kiger Paredes. Ann died in her sleep of an undiagnosed genetic cardiac disorder, at the age of 30. She left behind a husband, a six year old son, a three year old daughter, and a six month old baby girl.

Advent Reflection

Christmas 1993 was not an easy holiday for our family. Ann’s coworker, Faith Bass, captured the feeling in her poem, “Is There Christmas in Heaven?” from which I have provided an excerpt:

Do you exchange gifts,
have parties and such,
or is your only wish to be mortal,
to feel your child’s touch?


Are you watching us from heaven?
Do you feel our grief?
Is living in heaven such a relief?

Ann’s children are young adults now. How I wish she could have been here among us over the past seventeen years, marveling in their growth and, yes, grumbling about the trials and tribulations of parenthood. For some reason, God gave us, her family, that gift. When I “hang out” with that nephew and those nieces whose world was so drastically shaken so long ago, I know Ann is with us when I see Zack’s “AEK” tattoo on his arm, when Logan says something that just has that “Ann” tone to it, and when Jordan still has that exuberant little sparkle in her eye she did as a youngster.

I still do not understand why Ann did not wake up before dawn on December 3, 1993. She awoke to the likeness of God. As you contemplate the gifts of Christmas, may you awaken to a Godly likeness with every moment.

Advent Reflection
The Kiger Siblings, 1991 (Ann is 2nd from the left)


3 thoughts on “To Awake Satisfied – An Advent Devotional

  1. I have mixed emotions about the loss in this manner of a loved one. I think of my husband, James, who was here one second and gone the next. No warning. For him, I’m glad. For the rest of us, it was unbearable. My first husband had a long drawn out illness and a terrible death. I know, because I was there. If I had to choose for someone I love–or even for myself–I would take the gone in a blink path anytime.

    • I think the passage of time and the accumulation of experiences makes you have mixed emotions. I know my mother in law would have HATED to have a long drawn out period where she was incapacitated in drastic ways ……. when she died so quickly even as the doctors were preparing us for several weeks …….. it honestly felt like it was her doing what she always did so well ……. taking charge and making a decision. I can’t say I have lived it perfectly but Ann’s death in this way ALWAYS has been an influence to me ….. to take the few minutes to check in with people by phone (or now text which we didn’t have in 1993) “just because.” Thank you as always for sharing your perspective, Brenda.

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