Last Sunday, my father passed away. This occurred just five weeks after my mother passed away. And even though I have officiated in many many funerals, memorial services, and All Saints Sundays, it is different of course when it is someone you have known and loved. It is also different than when my younger brother died because the overwhelming feeling then was “it’s way way too soon.” But it is different when both of your parents have lived to a ripe old age, isn’t it? It makes it ok, doesn’t it? Well, not exactly.
I realize that my feelings are not always logical. Logically, you do not want your loved ones to live on and on when age continues to wreck havoc with our bodies. You don’t want your loved ones to live on and on when many of the ones they have loved, maybe even loved the most, are already gone and they face life without them. Logically, it should all be ok when death comes, right? Well, not exactly.
Scripture says death is an enemy and I believe that. Death, as I have written before, disrupts relationships. No matter what good we can rationalize, there will be no more one on one contact between us and those who die. At least not in this life. And we’d not be truthful if we said we wouldn’t miss, deeply miss, what was.
What we rest upon is this – God gives us all our relationships in the first place. God never intended them to last forever in this life. And God has new relationships that are significant for us. And he has promised all of us that, for his people, even when we see ‘end points’ new beginnings are in the wings.
So death of loved ones give us each a chance not to say goodbye but rather ‘until we meet again’. And I hope that when I do see my folks again I will have made a difference with my life as they made with theirs.
Until next time,