First Appeared June, 7, 2008
Dealing with Death - My Personal Experience
Today, it has been 12 years plus 45 days since I sat at the bedside of my Mom. As I held her hand I observed her weakened condition. Her breathing—-shallow, her heartbeat—-irregular; her body—-tired. The nurse administered more medication and whispered in my sister’s ear, “Dear, it won’t be long.” Only an hour later I watched her lungs take in air one last time. Now for the first time in many days her frail body rested. Even though they were not seen, angels entered the room and took her to be home with the Lord.
Still, there are moments the smell of her favorite candle or food, or a certain event or activity will take me right back to her side and I feel the sharp pain of saying “goodbye” all over again.
Dealing with Death - -Experienced By Everyone
Dealing with death is a life experience that no one wants to face. Life can often seem like swimming in the ocean during high tide. Even if we know how to swim and jump over the big waves at just the right time, when we least expect it—-gulp! We are broadsided, and find ourselves spinning and bouncing off the bottom of the ocean with a mouth full of sand. If we fight, it takes longer to get to the surface. But if we float with the current, we come right to the top.
Take it from someone who knows, floating when we are frightened is difficult. It takes trust and concentration. Dealing with the death of a loved one is similar. In order to cope, it takes trust.
Death is nearly always accompanied by questions—- especially “why.” Whether we are facing our own death, or the death of someone we love, we want answers. Why is this happening? What did I do to deserve this? Is there life after death? The sooner we learn to float—-to trust—-the easier it is to discover the answers we are seeking.
Dealing with Death - The True Position
When dealing with death, the solution is the same whether the death is our own or that of a loved one. As hard as it is to accept, we must understand that death is a part of life. As some have joked, there are only 2 things with 100% guarantee—-death and taxes.
It is helpful to realized that while our bodies are mortal, all human beings are eternal - our soul and spirit will never die. God’s Word reminds us that we are eternal.
Dealing with Death - No greater Love
Dealing with death was not a problem for Adam and Eve-the first man and woman who ever lived. However, once they sinned against God, things changed. Dying resulted from their sinful disobedience.
We may think of death as final, but there is no end in the plan of God. We are eternal beings in His sight.
Have you ever wondered why, even though your body might be aging, you don’t feel “older” inside? It’s because your spirit is eternal. The Bible says that God has placed eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
God desires for us to spend eternity with Him, yet He has left that choice up to us. God has made all the provisions for us to be with Him forever. He has no greater love than His love for us. Don’t forget the depth of God’s love for you.
Dealing with Death – Comfort from God?
Dealing with death is not easy. This is why it is so important for us to comfort those who are going through it. Often excuses arise when we neglect this responsibility: “I don’t know what to say”; “I feel uncomfortable talking to someone about death”; “I might say something that would hurt the family”
When my mother died I remember very few words spoken to me as friends and family filed by the casket. Yet, I remember them being there. I remember an embrace. I remember a soft pat on the back. I remember a gentle squeeze of the elbow. They came along side and they comforted me.
For a few seconds my faith became sight. God was seen in something I touched—-My family and friends.
Your phone call, your visit to a patient’s bedside or a stopover to the funeral home is significant. It reminds the family that God is near and He is dealing with death with you. Remember, God understands your pain—-He had a Son to die too.
Dealing with Death – The Final Conclusion
Books, plays, movies, fun days, vacations, and everything else have an end—-even our lives. Prepare yourself.
My youngest son did not want to go upstairs alone to retrieve a toy so he came to me and demanded, “Dad, go upstairs with me.” I offered some encouragement and told him to go on up himself and retrieve his belonging. He protested so I took his hand and began to lead the way. Something happened when he took my hand. Now. . .he marched up those stairs with courage—-no fear whatsoever. This boldness came about all because he was holding Dad’s hand.
If death scares you, take your Heavenly Father’s hand. He will walk with you. He will lead you. He will comfort you. He will stand beside you. Then. . . you too will march with courage—-not fear.
In : Faron's Footnote
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