A life well lived and a life that was lost

(Monday we buried a beloved brother – Antonio Reis. He was a member of the church for 25 years and a deacon for 15. He was only 67 years old but had congestive heart failure. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, his four children and many grandchildren. At his funeral the room was overflowing with church members, friends and family. Half of those who came had to stand outside. Below Aureni relates an experience she had that morning. – Mike)


The room was crowded. Sadness, grief, consolation, love, faith, hope, joy, all of these feelings was present at the wake of our beloved Reis. Family, relatives, friends, brothers and sisters in the faith, all together, honoring and saying their last goodbyes to this man. The words moistened by tears, were of strong admiration, love and thankfulness. “Best father in the world”, “best husband”, “best grandfather”, faithful servant, generous and dedicated Christian. Everyone had something positive to share about Reis. What a well lived life at the feet of the Christ, who Reis loved and served. What a legacy. What a powerful witness.

As I observed this scene, I also noticed something else very different. Next door there was another funeral going on. In that room, I saw a woman crying alone next to a coffin. I thought to myself, how sad, why would this woman be alone in such a painful moment? After a while, I got close and set beside her. I asked her who she was mourning. She said, my son. Then she told me the story. He was only 23 years old. He and his wife had spent the whole day drinking at a party, during Brazil’s craziest time of year called Carnaval. At night they got home and started fighting. In the middle of the fight she grabbed a knife and with only one stab killed him. The mother, crying, told me that the wife was desperate because when she became sober she realized a tragedy had occurred and now she had to face the consequences. I stayed there a while longer with her. I thought about the madness of what had happened. A feeling of emptiness and despair was what I sensed in that place. A very young man at the end of his life, no friends, no wife, just a mother alone mourned for him.

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