Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Death and Dying

A visitation last night, a funeral today, another church family death last night, and one of my photography friends tragically lost a young adult daughter.

I've lost both my parents and my mother and father-in-law are in their "elderly" years. Those years where health declines - and while it may get "better," better may mean better than the worst, but not as good as before.

The thought crossed my mind that there is a difference between suffering and sorrow.
Suffering occurs when you are ill, feeling pain, hurt. Suffering can be both physical and mental - and sorrow and grief are subsets of suffering.
Sorrow is more mental . . . sadness, grief, a sense of loss - which can be from losing a person in your life, losing a job, changing from one part of life to another - we grieve over many things.

We hate to watch our loved ones suffer - whether from illness or the consequences of poor choices. We grieve when our loved ones pass from this plane of existence to the next. Since it is a one way door, we don't know where they go or what happens next. We only have our faith structure to give us comfort.

I'm Christian . . . so it is of great comfort to me to visualize my loved ones in heaven in the presence of God. I've heard that Christian nurses say that the death of a Christian is so much easier than the death of a non believer. I can believe that because a Christian would not have the fear that death is THE END. Christians have confidence that death is just a transition from the earthly existence to a heavenly one.

But all human spiritual thought - regardless of faith - concludes that humans are more than flesh and blood - that there is a spirit within. While I want to preach Christ and his resurection - I also want to fulfill the exhortation to comfort those who are mourning.

God is bigger than I - God can see with much more clarity than I. While I don't understand why some people die young and others live richly through their old age, I believe that God has a plan for each one of us. And that plan includes our birth, our parents, our genetics, the chance events, the joys, the sorrows, the suffering, and finally our deaths. I believe that God is faithful - and that he will provide a beautiful existence for those that go on before us to the heavenly realms and that He will also provide comfort and peace to those of us left mourning here on earth.

No comments: