It all matters…

“A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.”  ~ Steward Alsop

Death is a part of life, but it’s often still an ugly encounter, especially for those left in its wake.

After visiting her grandpa for the last time in the hospital and experiencing the whirring of the machines meant to keep him alive after his stroke just over a week ago, my daughter was able to put into words what many of us feel. When, after her visit, I asked her if she was okay, she replied:

“Yes, I’m okay. It’s more difficult for me to see [my] Dad in pain… I mean, it’s hard to see Grandpa like that and I’m grieving for him but it hurts my heart more to see the pain death leaves in its wake.  Grandpa looks very peaceful and I don’t believe
he’s in that body anymore, so I find comfort in that aspect. It’s the people left behind and in pain that hurts my heart.”

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:55, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”  While I know that this verse is specifically pointing to the resurrection of Christ, my human mind wants to answer its question.  Death’s sting is right here; it’s the pain that engulfs us and weighs heavily on our hearts.  It’s the sense of loss that we experience when someone we love is taken from us. And although we may know that the suffering and pain may have ended for our loved one, it’s just the beginning for those left in death’s wake.

Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid the pain that accompanies death.  But what we do with life as a result of the pain… that’s another story.

For me, I choose to honor those who have passed away by seeking to learn from their lives. More than anything, death has taught me that we don’t know how many tomorrows we have, therefore everything we do matters.

Those words you spoke in anger? They matter.

The times you did (or didn’t) say “I love you?” They matter.

Those times you needed to admit you were wrong and ask for forgiveness? They matter.

The times you needed to offer forgiveness – even if it wasn’t “deserved?” They matter.

It all matters.

“Forgive and give as if it were your last opportunity. Love like there’s no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again.” (Max Lucado, Every Day Deserves a Chance: Wake Up to the
Gift of 24 Hours
)

It all matters.

May God bless you, Joel, as you journey home.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. onthefringesofchaos
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 13:04:16

    i love it mom.
    through the years we have learned that every second counts.
    i may only be turning 13 but ive learned that letting go of someone is just a part of life. what you dont have to let go is all the time you spent with that person and all the memories you have.
    it comforts me to know that Jesus is waiting for mygrandpa to arrive home.
    ~Kaitie~

    Reply

  2. onthefringesofchaos
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 13:09:52

    You are wise beyond your years, my precious daughter (who just so happened to post via me since I left my page wide open!). I am blessed by your ability to see things through spiritual eyes… and yes, I’m comforted knowing that none of us pass from this life to eternity alone.

    Reply

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