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Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014

The sting of death always hurts

Posted Friday, October 3, 2008, at 8:54 AM

"For the living know that they will die...." Ecclesiastes 9

For the third time in the last 14 months, our family got a shocking telephone call on Wednesday evening from out of town explaining to us about the death of another relative from the same family.

The latest to pass away was my first cousin, Sharon, who lived in Indianapolis. She was five years my elder, but in my mind too young to be struck down by a heart attack.

The voice on the other end of the telephone line uttered a familiar refrain when they asked, "Are you sitting down?"

The news she delivered was again shocking.

I had heard the same conversation not long ago.

Just seven months earlier, the caller's brother died unexpectedly from complications associated with diabetes and heart disease.

She called and told me her brother, Bob, was found seriously ill in his Columbus, Ohio apartment.

He died a day later.

A friend from my boyhood was gone.

About seven months earlier, the family buried their mother, who was my aunt.

She was a very strong woman who had seen three of her children and her husband die before her passing. She was a gem of a lady who helped my Mom and I out tremendously over the years after my adopted Dad died of a heart attack when I was just five years old. She was there for us often and I really never got to properly thank her for all the kind things she did to ease the pain I experienced by not having a Dad when I grew up.

This family from Perry County in southern Indiana has been unusually hit hard by death even though my late Uncle Bob, who was a pharmacist and had access to the latest in technology and medical discoveries couldn't stop three of his children and himself from being stricken with heart-related problems.

It was genetics.

Out of the family of six children -- five have now died. The only remaining sibling is my cousin, Kathy, who delivered the telephone call the other night.

Death is a very mysterious thing.

When you've had someone that you love recently pass, it makes you ponder not only the remorse you feel for the loved one and their surviving family, but death itself and what it truly means.

My heart and prayers go out to my cousin Kathy. She needs to be wrapped with the strength of prayer and God's love as she prepares to make the arrangements to bury her fourth sibling.

When you are 55 years old and growing older every day like me, all this talk about death and dying makes me really think about what is left to do on this earth before I venture on to a "better place" in the hereafter.

I think a lot of people -- like me -- are scared of death because they are scared of the unknown.

The point is that one day you will die, and I will die, the veil of this world will be lifted.

In our society, many people tend to avoid talking about death.

After someone you care about dies, many people feel they need to move on with life as usual as soon as possible, and that grief is something to be kept hidden from view.

That's probably not a healthy or productive thing to do.

It's okay and natural to grieve.

It's a time when we need to reflect on death, our life and prepare ourselves spiritually to answer the call when that day comes.

Death is hard for everyone.

As joyous as it is to know a person has been born into eternal life, it is with many tears we fill the void the person has left in our life.

It's tough to let loved ones go.

It's hard to know that another member of your family will never again be able to share a holiday, a wedding, a birth, or a simple afternoon with you just talking about old times.

Family is important and probably even more important and precious to us when it is gone. In times like death we reflect on the fellowship we missed -- an experience that can never be renewed.

There are things we should have said, but didn't.

That's what really hurts.

All the things that seem so important now to us, won't be important in our next life.

We all really need to consider what is important and what is simply a waste of our time. Death brings us a perspective on life, it shows us what is vital and what is worthless.

Christianity teaches us to not fear death because it is where the soul of the departed is reunite with our Savior in heaven.

If we believe that in our heart and soul, then death is a day of joy, celebration and jubilation, but not sorrow.

The fact remains, our loved ones will die, we will grow old, and no one here is going to get out alive.

Nonetheless, the sting of death still hurts.

Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at schneider.nick@gmail.com or nschneider@gcdailyworld.com


Comments
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[Show most recent comments first]

Do you think it's alright to be mad at God?

Still be obedient, but be mad at the same time.

-- Posted by instigator474 on Fri, Oct 3, 2008, at 2:11 PM

What if he takes your child? Wouldn't that make you mad, needgod? you are doing wht he tells you to do but he still puts this on you. Wouldn't that make you mad?

-- Posted by instigator474 on Mon, Oct 6, 2008, at 6:55 AM

I think it is alright to be angry at God but nonetheless, do not turn away from him, We see only bits and pieces of the entire puzzle, we look into the mirror dimmly and cannot see the figure in it clearly. Life is the same way. We have many questions to ask but we shall only find them out when we stand face to face with him.

Regardless of anger do not turn away from God.

Do not let anger turn into bitterness because bitterness eats at you like a cancer and will destroy your faith!!

Isaiah 57: in the new living translation reads below"

1 Good people pass away;

the godly often die before their time.

But no one seems to care or wonder why.

No one seems to understand

that God is protecting them from the evil

to come.NLT

We sometimes do not understand things however, in the end, when we see Christ face to face, we will know!

Dont give up on God!

-- Posted by SEAL on Mon, Oct 6, 2008, at 10:35 AM

The mention of people dying "before their time" of diabetes and heart disease brings to mind that these diseases are highly (of course, not totally) preventable by diet and exercise. Indiana has the 15th highest heart disease death rate, is even higher up on obesity rankings, and is one of the leading states in tobacco use (another cause of heart disease). So, sure, God's in control, but we have the free will to keep ourselves healthy and our families intact as long as our bodies can keep going.

-- Posted by circle on Mon, Oct 6, 2008, at 12:13 PM

Unfortunately, we, as humans have the gift of freewill which causes the majority of our heartaches in this life. God does'nt cause anything bad to happen, only good comes from His actions. Also, we are promised to be brought through our trials and tribulations. He didn't promise to take them away....just through them. Praise God He does that and I can testify to that many times!

-- Posted by incognito on Mon, Oct 6, 2008, at 12:13 PM

Incognito, are you saying God doesn't control who lives and dies? Does he not have that supreme power? I was taught that he controls everything. If thats true, then isn't that bad for someone. Are you telling his parents that this is a good thing? Or are you telling them that something else is to blame?

My question was "Do you think it is alright to be mad at God?" Not turning away from him, but mad. I think you can do both. For all of the great things he has done for me, I sure hope he explains the other stuff.

-- Posted by instigator474 on Mon, Oct 6, 2008, at 12:41 PM

instigator474

Ephesians 4:26

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.

It is okay to be mad at God however, as the scripture says, do not sin and then get rid of the anger within a day!

It is okay to be angry yet dont get so mad that you sin against God! Then let your anger, frustration, emptiness, etc. go to God, you cannot deal with it anyway, give it over to God. He will take all the anger etc. away. Dont let the anger stay within you for a day! It will eat on you and as I said before, then it becomes a bitteness and it eats like a cancer!

-- Posted by SEAL on Mon, Oct 6, 2008, at 1:57 PM

I don't think it is harmful to be angry at God.. It is a natural action when we are hurt or done wrong by someone. God tells us to give Him our troubles and problems. Yes, God does have ultimate control.. but He will not force His will upon us. I was trying to explain that our choices have consequences and sometimes they are horrible consequences.

-- Posted by incognito on Mon, Oct 6, 2008, at 4:05 PM

I agree, needgod.com but normally this is true with only mature christians. I don't mean old in age either. As a christian grows in God and learns to truly trust in God for all things, they become mature in their faith which gives them a strength unlike any other. It took me a long time to truly trust in God as I should.

-- Posted by incognito on Thu, Oct 9, 2008, at 9:21 AM

I have to say respectfully my grandmother is my hero. She lost her mom and husband within 5 months to the day and she was strong about it. She lost her mom to cancer in July (which is my cousin's birthday and now my daughter's birthday) then in Nov she lost her husband...(which is on my aunt's birthday) My poor aunt...to this day her birthday still haunts her because she lost her dad on that day. She was actually there and gave him CPR!!! If I ever have to suffer as terrible a situation as that I would hope that I would be able to pull through and do what is needed of me and not freeze up!!

-- Posted by cj1980 on Thu, Oct 9, 2008, at 12:16 PM

Apparently, according to needgod.com I dont understand God. Even with biblical studies degree, I must still be dumb. The fact is that Jesus himself had the exact feelings we have too. Also, most christians never get to the point where regardless of what transpires, they do not get angry with God. Most get upset, mad, question god, think life isnt fair, most ask me questions like" If God is love, how can he let this baby die? or how can a loving god send someone to hell? I have grown through those times so I know first hand. However, I know I can trust God in all things.

-- Posted by SEAL on Thu, Oct 9, 2008, at 3:22 PM

God sent his son, God as man by the name Yeshua (Jesus) John 3:16

Even Jesus asked that the "cup pass from him" but he continued and said " never the less not my will but thine be done".

Sometimes baby christians do not understand and question God, they in turn get angry and upset at him because of the outcome. Until they understand more about God, and grow in faith in the lord, they will continue to be mad. We must nuture them and teach them about him, not turn them away by telling them they are in danger of Gods judgement. We need to teach them, not turn them away using condemnation! I appreciate your vigor and zeal about the Lord.

-- Posted by SEAL on Mon, Oct 13, 2008, at 9:23 AM

I know very well about repentence and judgement.

However, I will be at the bema seat judgement " meaning mercy seat" My sins are buried in the deepest depths of the sea, never to be remembered again. If God cannot remember then, I will not either. You are right in the fact that everything revolves around the cross. However, once that the majority become a so called christian, that is as far as they go, they dont study the word or try to go deeper with christ.

I will not argue your view point, I was mad at god a long time ago and walked away from him. I am glad however, that he accepted me back with open arms when I came as the prodigal son.

He put a fire in me that I cannot quinch therefore I have become and will always be a student of the bible.

I see so many people who get saved then never go any deeper with the Lord.

These are the ones whom the original conversation was about not someone who has been around the block. I stand by my view point... It is okay to be angry at God.

You can disagree all you want, it doesnt matter to me, it is your personal view just like Jesus is my personal savior, We must search out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

My relationship will not be like yours and yours will not be like mine!

I thank God for you and hope you continue on your quest for lost souls. I will continue on mine.

God bless needgod.com

See you sometime in heaven!

-- Posted by SEAL on Mon, Oct 13, 2008, at 3:22 PM

Yes death is probably no one's favorite topic, though it happens to us all. I have always had a sort of morbid fascination with death. The only way I know to deal with it is to believe the Bible. As Job says, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust him." I always figured God put me here on earth and He alone knows when and how to take me out. The ball is certainly in His hand. All I can do is rest in the assurance that He said that He is the way and the truth and the light. Like the apostle said. . . Peter, I believe, "Lord, if I can't go to you, to whom else can I go?" I have settled it in my mind that Jesus either was WHO he said he was, or the biggest liar on the face of the earth. I pick the first opinion.

-- Posted by donnarae on Wed, Oct 22, 2008, at 12:07 AM


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