Death – What do you do when a loved one dies?
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light.Isaiah 26:19 ESV
It is always sad when a loved one departs from this world, the pain of not seeing them again, or the sadness of not sharing with them. Memories of laughter and sorrows shared together becomes a longing to relive. No matter how old or young they might be, we always miss them.
Being in my 50s you tend to have seen it all, the young dying unexpectedly, snatched by illness, some suicidal, some accidents and some unexplainable. Sometimes you ask yourself why were they even born if they only lived to their 20s and death snatches them away. They are yet to do anything with their lives, you feel the pain of their parents, perhaps an only child, knifed to death by gangsters some even in the presence of the one who brought them into the world. Some I have witnessed during my chaplaincy ward rounds, who hold my hand and want me to tell God to ‘let them go’ because the pain is too much to bear!… For so long I myself couldn’t understand the master plan of God, for sure if people where suppose to lib#ve to 120 years on earth, what about these young ones? what have they done to deserve this?. Seen young kids massacred in war zones, used as child soldiers and taught to kill truly undescribable utter wickedness and you wonder truly, where are you, God?
Then there are the old and very old, your parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents, who the Lord has blessed with long lives, yet you still find it hard to let go. I remembered when my mum died in her 70s, I cried for over a year and till do 10yrs after when I remember her and the things we share, her laughter or her corny cheesy ways, or even if I do something and remember ‘oh God’ am turning into my mum!… Sometimes you laugh recalling good times you shared and you cry when you remember there are no more, how life will be different if they were.
In simple terms no matter the age, you still miss them. I am always appreciative that no matter how bad the pain is time heals and also that God has given us a memory bank to store all these memories, for I believe life really is about the living memories we have of our yesterdays. Who we are, what we become all comes from our encounters, people we have met on the journey walkway of our lives, friends, colleagues and families. Our joy, our happiness, our pain and sorrow all oozes out of this. This is why when a person passes away, we celebrate the life they have lived, some we do publicly and some just in our hearts, for if they were never born then we wouldn’t have heard the privilege of knowing them.
In one afternoon Job lost his ten children and all his wealth. To top it all he was then afflicted with a horrid skin disease how bad can it get for a human being to comprehend yet in both these tragedies Bible tells us \Job kept his faith and revered the sovereign hand of God. In Job 1:21 he said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In 2:10 he said, “Shall we receive good at the hand of the God and shall we not receive evil?” ..Wow!.. What an incredible faith to have, to old on to God despite everything crumbling at an alarming rate around him. He continues his speech to God..Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.Job 13:15 What an incredible man Job was and what an awesome in-depth relationship he has with His maker, truly believing that God the creator of man knows what no man knows, after all, He is the creator and we learn through the scriptures that GOD IS GOOD, GOD IS LOVE, HIS THOUGHTS TOWARDS US ARE A GOOD THOUGHT AND NOT OF EVIL. This is a revelation to hold on to at your darkest hour, for the choice you make in your mind as to WHOSE REPORT YOU SHOULD BELIEVE determines your mental stability either to blame God and live in hate and resentment which will eventually lead to your self destruction, depression, anger, self harm etc or believe that God knows best and walk in more love trusting God like Job and live in light, love and hope and an assurance of a better tomorrow
Coping With Loss
The loss of a loved one is life’s most stressful event and can cause a major emotional crisis. After the death of someone you love, you experience bereavement, which literally means “to be deprived by death
Knowing What to Expect
When a death takes place, you may experience a wide range of emotions, even when the death is expected. Many people report feeling an initial stage of numbness after first learning of a death, but there is no real order to the grieving process. Some emotions you may experience include:
Living with Grief
Coping with death is vital to your mental health. It is only natural to experience grief when a loved one dies. The best thing you can do is allow yourself to grieve. There are many ways to cope effectively with your pain.
Seek out caring people. Speak to your pastor and church welfare dept. Find relatives and friends who can understand your feelings of loss. Join support groups with others who are experiencing similar losses.
Express your feelings. Tell others how you are feeling; it will help you to work through the grieving process.
Take care of your health. Maintain regular contact with your family physician and be sure to eat well and get plenty of rest. Be aware of the danger of developing a dependence on medication or alcohol to deal with your grief.
Accept that life is for the living. It takes an effort to begin to live again in the present and not dwell on the past.
Be patient. It can take months or even years to absorb a major loss and accept your changed life.
Listen to other people who have been through similar circumstances and learn how they coped and overcame their grieve
Trust God: Envelope yourself in His love, read more of the bible and seek out people who also went through grieves and tragedy and pray the Holy Spirit who is our comforter help you through your healing process
We are truly priviledge for we know death to this world is only sleeping in Christ for at the last day on the faithful day of Judgemnt all souls will rise again and we will be reunited with our loved ones, so it really isnt the end, but a temporal departure for just a little while, my sister and brother take courage in knowing you are not alone, for He that keeps you neither sleeps nor slumber, Jesus is right their with you carrying your pain and holding your hand, He too has been through it before so He understands what you are going through and saying TRUST ME, it is going to be well!. Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians saying we know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence. 2Cor 4:14
King Solomon the wisest man who ever lived says in the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1 that ‘ There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven– 2A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. 3A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. In essence we too will one day die, it is how you lived your life in this short matter of time allocated to you here on earth that matters, how well are you using it, how are you affecting your sphere of influence, what are you doing with your days?, do you waste them in doing frivolous things or do you use them to the glory of God. For you might think it is tomorrow and death comes knocking today, with death, there is no second chance!…
With this note I end my message encouraging you to take heart and take comfort in Gods love, knowing that His ways are not ours, but that HE LOVES YOU and with you in this dreadful season of pain and sorrow, He will surely take you through and through the power of the Holy Spirit comfort you with STRENGTH to overcome.
Prayer: Lord Jesus our hope and our helper our present help in time of trouble, I pray for my sister and my brother going through this unbearable pain of loss that you lift their burden and send your comforter the holy spirit to comfort them, let them experience your healing power, like the balm of gilead, soothe their pain. In Your grace You will give them the strength to get through today, step by step – knowing that You are there to carry them, even when their heart seems to fail from the grief and pain they are going through.
I pray that as the day passes Your healing touch will comfort and succour them in this time of distress and may this be a thing that causes each of them to draw closer to You, knowing that You alone can heal the broken-hearted and bring joy out of pain. This I ask in the name of your son Jesus Christ our saviour AMEN.