People all over the world die every day. But when it hits close to home death becomes different; personal, sadder, even poignant.
It happened to me this week. Two of my very close friends died within three days. One was a friend of fifty years and the other’s friendship entwined my life for sixty years.
I will miss these ladies and their enduring friendship very much to say the least. But I take comfort in the fact that they are now truly home. Yes, I do believe in life after death.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25,26
I also take comfort in knowing that my loss is God’s gain. And that’s the upside of grief.
“Into this cold, stark world, naked and afraid, with a slap on the rump to give us breath and start us on the road to death.” This is a quote I read years ago and for some reason kept in my notes. When you think about it, it is not too unlike the poem, “The Dash”, written by Linda Ellis and posted on my July 19th blog this year. Both the poem and the quote give thought to the time between our birth and our death.
Whether our lives are short and sweet or long and sometimes arduous, it is the time between day one and the final day that matters. It is how we lived, loved, served; how we treated each other, how we forgave, how we acknowledged others, how we humbled ourselves. It is being open to teaching and learning life’s lessons and sharing our knowledge; it is about comforting, consoling and caring; it is about interest in others over self-interest, and it is coming to terms with “the after”.
There are those who believe that death is death and that is that; nothing more, nothing less, nothingness.
And then there are those who believe that death is a continuation of life, and to those who look forward to seeing their previously departed loved ones, death can only be a blessing after a journey along that road that began with our first breath.
So, rather than shed tears at the departure of a dearly loved friend or family member, I choose to smile, knowing that their real journey has just begun. The journey to life everlasting where only love rules…unconditional love…finally…after all that time traveling.
Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,