“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
- Martin Luther King Jr
Have you ever met the person who lives a long beautiful life and dies surrounded by their loved ones?
I think that is awesome.
In truth most of the people I know who died were younger.
My great aunt just celebrated her 101st birthday. She was the youngest of eight. They are all gone now except for her. They did everything together. They married, had kids, planned on living long lives. But then one day, one of the youngest died first. She had a blood clot and was gone. Why?
Why do young people perish? How do some of our parents who became more like children, die and leave us with such confusion?
I don’t like death. I don’t understand it. I don’t get to say goodbye. I can’t fix things I did wrong. And of course my dream would be that some of them would apologize. But that doesn’t happen either.
I seem to be able to cry if a celebrity who I never met passes but in my own family I find it hard to shed tears.
They say there are five stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I waiver between denial and anger. And a whole lot of “if onlys.”
So many people I know are going through many different types and stages of grief. And while I love to offer wisdom, I have none.
Death is hard. It’s final. I can’t take it back. There are few things that comfort me during these times. One is a Pearl Jam song called Just Breathe. “Yes I understand that every life must end. Did I say that I need you?
Oh, did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t, I’m a fool you see…
Hold me ‘til I die, meet you on the other side.”
The other is a reminder that I have no idea what happens when we die. I believe we become whole, healed, filled with joy.
But I can’t touch that here. And so many things in this world make it scary to be a parent. Each time I let my daughter go a little, I don’t know what will happen. I pray, I hope, I worry.
If you are facing a death that was complicated, if there are no Hallmark cards that help you understand, maybe us sharing with each other is a way to lift each other up. Maybe we won’t feel so alone.
I have never been one to hide my emotions. But I think God used that for His good.
When I had a friend read my column she mentioned it was pretty dark for my usual content. But maybe life is really dark sometimes.
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
- Martin Luther King Jr
When I sit outside and watch the bright stars in a dark sky, I feel closer to God, more connected to the universe.
Maybe our loved ones are here with us in spirit? Whatever the answer it is a reminder that we don’t always get second chances in life.
Maybe it’s a reminder to gather together over a meal or to get together under the stars, laugh and share stories around a campfire.
When was the last time you hung out with some friends and just let loose? I will be honest, it’s been a long time for me.
Life is too short and too precious to just work all the time!
My daughter always asks when we are going to stop and have some fun. On all my lists of things to do, I think it’s time fun was added to the list.
How about you?
Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV says - a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
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