Death visited our family twice this past month—two women, each married to one of my husband’s older brothers, exchanged this world for the next.
One of the deaths surprised us. The woman had fought a virus for two weeks, and when she didn’t improve, visited her doctor. He diagnosed her with small cell carcinoma and scheduled an appointment with an oncologist ten days later, an appointment she wouldn’t keep. She died the following Thursday.
The other woman had battled dementia for nearly twenty years. Though her body lingered with the living, her mind departed a decade earlier. Her death was a release, especially for the third daughter who stood vigil over her mother, seeing to her every need for an eon of time.
As usually happens with a death, lives slowed, people taking time to express their regrets and renew relationships faded with neglect. Relatives I had known as children when I married into the family, came to the memorial service as grandparents, their little ones frolicking between the headstones, a poignant portrait of the beginning and end of life. More than once I heard someone say, “I haven’t seen you in ages.” An outsider listening in might have thought the gathering was a party and not a memorial service.
Death has a way of making us stop and think about our lives. In the frantic scurry of busy schedules, we often forget that all of us will meet an end someday somewhere. Death is a reality check, a reminder that this life will pass and the next one will begin.
The Bible promises that those who have discovered the truth of the Savior Jesus Christ will spend eternity with Him in heaven. Physical death of the body is not the end—it is a new beginning.
I Corinthians 15:55-57 (NKJV) says, “O Death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Readers—This week give someone a hug for me, will you? Enjoy those relationships now and don’t wait for tragedy to bring you together. Have a great week.