The story I read yesterday was entitled "Death the Proud Brother". It is a story that deals with death, and how it is such an important and ubiquitous part of life. It is not something to be feared or repressed. It should be accepted. After all, it is something that we diverse human beings all have in common. We may think we are very different in color, weight, height, culture, faith, and so on; but we are all going to eventually pass on through the silent halls of death. Our final moments may come with a crawl or a pounce, but death is unavoidable and natural.
It got me to thinking about those close to me whose deaths I have experienced---my dad, my grandparents, and a few others. Looking back on those experiences, with the 20/20 hindsight of time, I can say that, while their deaths were a sad time, I realized deep down that it was all part of God's plan.
Of course, I never experienced a death of a loved one that was tragically sudden and unexpected. That kind of death would necessarily require a longer and more intense period of grieving.
In my dad's case, he was 81 when he died in a hospital bed, his immediate family gathered around. He had been ill for months, his condition deteriorating daily, until the final moments occurred.
My mom stood at the head of his bed, stroking his brow and speaking soft, loving words. My brother and I and our wives stood watching, tears slowly falling. After we heard his last breath, a doctor came to the room to pronounce him dead. After examining him, she asked, "Would you like me to summon a preacher for you?"
Everyone in the group shook their heads---no. Except me, that is. I said I thought it would be helpful to hear some words of faith.
|My Mom and Dad, Circa 1943|
|My Dad and His Sister, Circa 1940|