May I suggest... when our souls die to an awareness of this body... we need not be afraid. It has been revealed to me... as well as others... our soul having been given the opportunity to be transformed by God's Spirit within continues to exist taking us into our next present moment, whatever that might be.... only God knows for sure.  The numerous revelations and personal encounters I have been given through experiencing those who have gone before... seeing them alive while I am yet on this side of heaven... to include encounters with Jesus, have proven to me, those who have gone on before... are there... here with us as a great cloud of witnesses... so to speak and can be experienced, if need be... not simply in memory, but in spirit and sometimes in bodily form... as Father God allows and brings us to a place of awareness of their eternal existence and being, for His Kingdoms sake, and to comfort our soul... as well as increase our faith and spiritual understanding. 

God's Spirit revealed to me an example of this through the life of Jesus ...* when on the Mount of Transfiguration, God sent Moses and Elijah to meet and converse with Jesus of His upcoming death and resurrection. It was during that event... Father God chose to remind us to listen to His Son Jesus, whom He sent as a fulfillment of a eternal divine plan, which both Moses and Elijah had been privy to.... by way of prophetic revelation during their lifetimes.* 
Please see scripture references below.  Again... when Jesus died... **tombs of holy men opened and they walked among men.**

These type of experiences and scriptures confirming them, have brought me great comfort and I am reminded of them when I see another leave their body to go on to be with the Lord in a realm we can only imagine in our present existence... unless God's Spirit chooses to reveal it's reality to us otherwise.  

I know they are with us always...  for me, simply thinking of them... brings back memories and the reminder they are alive... and we will meet again.  It is through these revelations and personal encounters I have been given, that I can rejoice with those who have died at their crossing over ... knowing they go on to embrace the life which awaits them through the love of God offered to each of us.  

*** It brings me comfort to know... there is never a need  for any of us to weep ever again once on the other side. ***

Below I offer the story of my own personal grief and my first encounter... with someone dear to me who had died and was sent back from the dead to comfort me in my time of need... as Jesus spoke to my soul. No offence is intended towards anyone by any of the details of the story which follows, thus may I ask that you choose not to take any.

During the 60's... my grandparents who all lived quite a distance away died. A few years before my mom's mom, my last living grandparent became ill and died... she moved nearby, and I was able to get to know her... as a young adult more intimately. As a young woman, I watched powerless... as she went through the death process, experiencing much suffering.  It was my first intimate encounter at the bedside of one who was dying.  

I had little true understanding of God's loving nature and His ways ... as yet ... and after she died, I was afraid.... concerned for her life... after this life.  I knew of a sin... in my eyes... grandma had not repented of... and in my legalistic thinking... in my limited understanding of the grace God offers each of us, I was afraid God was mad at her and that she might be in hell.  I knew she believed that she had tried to live a life according to what she believed was right... and that she believed Jesus died for her sins and she knew she was saved by grace... but I had not yet begun to fully understand through divine truth or personal experience, His mercy and grace towards myself.  It was not until after Father God allowed her spirit to visit me.... and Jesus spoke to me from the other side.... that a deeper understanding of this and more... first began to form within my soul.    

For days I grieved for Grandma... I was unable to eat or sleep properly.  A memory of what I perceived to be a unrepented sin in her life kept going through my mind, it tormented me deep within: (Please bare with me while I set the stage... to my first visitation through the details of the story which follows.) 
Both sets of my grandparents had been raised in a culture and time when it was common for 'colored people' (as they were often referred to back then) and the white people to live on separate sides of the railroad tracks and both had been taught those who were colored, were not to cross the tracks and come into the homes of white folks except to serve the whites in some capacity, usually as beloved Nannies... maids.... cooks... or some sort of position of household maintenance.. or servitude. It was an expected... and accepted way of relating. Whether it was liked or not...did not matter, it simply was what was... at that time and place. 

Grandma did not believe people should marry outside of their race or faith as well... and she had a very hard time with the fact that my mom had married a man whose father was from Greece.... and that he was someone who did not go to church, nor had a desire to encourage his children to be raised in such a manner. According to his limited experiences with church, he judged most church people to be a 'bunch of judgmental hypocrites". I was unaware of Grandma's prejudices towards my dad... or her beliefs because by the time I grew old enough to understand... she had gotten over her bias towards him and I heard years later... he was purported to be one of... if not her favorite son in-law. 

I did not know of the side of her which I later judged to be of bigotry on her part, until shortly before her death... when she would express her distain when she saw what she now referred to as Negroes and whites holding hands... as a prelude to marriage.  I was shocked by her comments, for in my mind... I did not believe God cared what color our skin was on the outside... He only cared about who we would ultimately chose to be inside.... and at the time... I did not think it mattered to Him who chose to marry whom, as long as they were in love and committed to their union.

The part of the country I lived in... and the times I was born into...  did not speak about black and white... African American and Caucasian issues that I heard of... so I was not exposed to such conditioning.  I was shocked when I read and heard about the actions and thinking which occurred around the race riots during the times of Martin Luther King.... and I ached for people of color... and the sins which I believed were being and had been committed against them throughout history... even among their own... when they were yet in Africa.... selling off those captured through the warring of tribes, as slaves.   

Over the years... I have cried out to God for mercy, deliverance and healing of their souls... for them...for all of us... when I saw their struggles... and heard of their torments. (As the years have passed, I have prayed the same, according to the understanding I have at the moment, for other races and cultures or those of us with limiting disabilities or erroneous mindsets... because I believe Father God wants us to be free of that which keeps us bound in any way.).  I ask God to free us all to be who He created us to be...  and to help us all to love each other as one of His own.... as the family of God... enabling each of us to look beyond our differences.... that we might recognize we all have one Father... who desires for us to be like Him... to be forgiving and to live with an attitude of unconditional love, and harmony one towards another.  

I truly felt blessed by Father God years later... and saw... what was to me... Him answering some of my prayers; during my 30's... while visiting a church conference in Washington D.C. With unexpected joy and to my amazement, the guest  speaker suddenly said he believed he was just inspired by God to ask the whites who were present to stand as a representative figure of all of the white race... before God... and to ask the blacks who were present... acting as a representative figure for their own race... to forgive us of the sins the white race had committed against them throughout history. He then asked the blacks who were present.... as a representative figure of their own race, to forgive the white race for our sins against their race worldwide. He also asked the Lord  through our symbolic intercession... to heal and deliver everyone's souls from any differences and inherited curses which would have followed such ways of being in either race... so that all men may be free.   He said, the Lord our God desired for us to do this... as a form of living intercession.  

As my spiritual understanding grew... I began to pray that the Lord would set all men free from that which causes hate and dissention.  I rejoice when I see the good which has taken place over the years since those early days... as all races are being given the chance to love one another without preconditioned prejudices... or inherited ways of being interfering with their thinking.  It has been my experience... as His truth of the need for forgiveness and unconditional love is received as our own... it empowers us to love and respect each other with the love we have already residing deep within.

Perhaps the reason I have always had a heart for the underdog... so to speak... is when I first heard about the riots during the days of Martin Luther King... my father said to me; when he was a young boy... that neither the blacks nor the whites were allowed to play with the children who were of Jewish, Puerto Rican or of a Greek ancestry in his neighborhood. He told me how much this affected them... of their pain.  He then said to me... "You lay out in the sun to get your tan... I was born with mine.  The color of your skin does not matter... it is who you are inside which is important. Among all cultures... you will find people who are both good and evil... skin does not determine your nature, only your choices."
Perhaps... because of my own conditioning... I was later appalled at my grandmothers ways of thinking.  In my grief... I could not put out of my mind what I perceived to be her prejudices and I was sure she was in hell because of them. I wept to God for her soul continually...unable to console myself.  

I will never forget the night her peaceful face appeared before me at the foot of the bed.  I sensed her peace and joy.... something I had never experienced before.  It was then I heard the words of Jesus, "Be at peace... She is with me.  She was judged based upon the truth she had been taught, and she was true to her convictions."    In hindsight... I can say today... at that moment, I was only beginning to become aware of God's unconditional love for each of us... and the reality of life after this life... in a way I had not known until then.  Upon my receiving this awareness she left.

I have had other encounters with the dead since then... in a myriad of ways... and when I have not expected it. In every encounter I have received a peace which surpasses understanding... and an new awareness of the continued life of the one who had crossed over.  I know there is life after this life, without a doubt. God in His mercy has opened the doors for me... and others as well, to see into the spirit realm... and has given us eyes to see and ears to hear... and a mind... the mind of Christ... that we might understand and know.... and tell others.  
May I offer these words of comfort... which come from a place of abiding in Him and His rest for my soul...  Be at peace... Father God's will... and promises to us... will be brought to pass, just not as we first expected... or conceived through our limited thinking or inherited human or cultural concepts of His eternal truths.

For those who still grieve and/or would choose to read on... may I offer:

My aunt just died... one of my dads sisters... her death process was one of physical suffering.  A blessing in disguise... in that, for many... it was also a time of reconciliation... and a deepening of relationships... as well as a fresh impartation and union of their  love which might not have been received or known so intimately otherwise.  It was also an opportunity for the family to grow closer... not only to each other... but to their creator.
Each time someone dies... I find a desire within... to wear to the funeral, a beautiful white dress I was given years ago... to celebrate with them their gift of a new life... their place in the presence of God, which includes the final and complete end to sins'  nature...  an end to suffering and pain... brought about through sickness.... disease...  spiritual end  to the consequences of sin... evident since mankind's fall from the abiding presence of God's Spirit.  Some of us it seems... will not taste death while in this body...  enabling us to receive a new manner of existence... an eternal life... a life no longer vulnerable to a sin controlled nature... but rather a life of peace and joy and holiness...  as promised us through the love of Father God for His creations. According to the understanding I have received... this promise was revealed through the resurrection of Jesus... the firstborn of those who have received God as our father... ****the author of life and death... the originator of both good and evil****... whereby we may freely make a conscious choice as to how we would choose to live from one moment to the next.   
But, as of yet... I have not felt comfortable enough to wear this white dress to a funeral... and I am not  sure why.... other than... I do not desire to be insensitive to anyone's grief... recognizing grief as a necessary process of this life.... and an opportunity for our spiritual growth.  An opportunity to remember... and to be transformed... another opportunity even now,  to  learn to appreciate the time we have left here with those who are still with us... an opportunity to know and understand what God has promised us...  and a further opportunity, to come to know Father God and His love for each of us, in this life and the life we are offered after this existence as we know it today.   

Perhaps I am to simply save my white dress to be worn at my own funeral, if I am to taste of death.  I hope, those who are comfortable and inspired to do so... those who remember our journey together through faith in the love of God ... will wear white with me at my funeral... even if it is only in the form of a rose... when we say... through the type of a shadow of that which has come... what we hope is only for a moment... when seen through the eyes of eternity; our good byes for now. 

If or when we find ourselves mourning... may we mourn... with an awareness love never dies...  and an inner knowing our regrets, if there are any...  can  ultimately be used to bring about forgiveness and a hope of a new beginning.... on both sides of heaven.

It brings me joy to know... I could wear white at my mom's funeral.... because she like me, sees death to this body... as a release from all which might attempt to separate us from the manifested  love of God and His presence in our lives.... as well as a new beginning, which need not be feared... but embraced with eternal joy and peace.... along side all  of those who have gone on before.... ***** that great cloud of witnesses who I believe await us on the other side of heaven.*****   Mom's spirit and restored soul would definitely be celebrating with me... us... in spirit and in truth... through love...  and those who know of her faith and love her still would understand, our loss is only momentary... compared to what we will receive eternally when we are reunited.   

Personally, I see a funeral as an acknowledged time set aside for letting go of our loved ones for now, as well as a place of celebration on the underside of heaven of our promised hope of eternal life. I see it as a day set aside where we can remember... acknowledge and celebrate a  life given and a life  lived as the precious gift it is.  I see it as a time of acknowledging  the new life which has come through death to the limits of our body... enabling us to live in the ever abiding Presence of God through the Spirit of love and holiness. I see it as a time of having gone on to receive that which He has planned for each of us in our next eternal moment with a greater awareness... a greater understanding... a greater love and joy and peace than before, through a new manner of existence.  

I.... as well as others I have met...  believe God has revealed to us, this new life is something to look forward to.... enabling us to let go of this world as we know it... with peace of mind... He having revealed Himself and His promises to us privately... enabling us to embrace that  which we were created to receive and share;  who we were created to be eternally... through our seasons here with those we love and those we will learn to love unconditionally... seeing all we have learned to love and cherish as a gift from our heavenly father living within.   We believe our fleshly life should not be mourned for long if at all, but remembered with love and gratitude for what it was.... as we evolved and matured into our present state of being. We believe we have been offered in exchange... the promise of  a higher means of existence.... with the promise of a resurrected body.  We believe our life after this life... begins with a intimate celebration .... a celebration of an intimate love... our having acknowledged... and received our  eternal life, this great love .... through ....  ******the marriage supper of the lamb******  .... a time of intimate union and communion with the lover of our soul and the victory ***He has accomplished for and extends to us all. ***   May those who have spiritual ears to hear... hear.  May those who have spiritual eyes  to see... see. May those who have the mind of Christ... receive and experience according to His eternal plan for each of us. May those who are yet to know and experience... receive with joy, peace... love  and great faith, through His divine revelation and intervention.

Scripture references:

*Luke 9*

28About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30Two men, Moses and Elijah, 31appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.

**Matthew 27** The Death of Jesus
45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
47When some of those standing there heard this, they said, "He's calling Elijah."
48Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to save him."
50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!"

***Revelation 21***
3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
5He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

****Deuteronomy 32****
39 "See now that I myself am He!
There is no God besides me.
I put to death and I bring to life,
I have wounded and I will heal,
and no one can deliver out of my hand.
40 I lift my hand to heaven and declare:
As surely as I live forever,

****Genesis 2****
8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground-trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

****Romans 8****
 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

****Luke 20****
37But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord 'the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' 38He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."
39Some of the teachers of the law responded, "Well said, teacher!"

****1 Corinthians 15****   The Resurrection of the Dead
12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

****John 5****
24"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. 25I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself

*****Hebrews 12*****
1   Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2   Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

*****Revelation 19******
1   And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
2   For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
3   And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
4   And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
5   And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
6   And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
7   Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8   And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
9   And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.