09 Feb Mourning Those We Lost

The last two days have brought with them the news of the deaths of two people who I knew and while they were not close to me personally, were very close to a lot of my friends and family members. Death is always a troubling occurrence for us as it is a reminder that this life is finite and despite our best efforts we can never know how much time we have left. This is especially true in the case of the young man who died in a car accident this past weekend. He was only in his mid-twenties and was taken from this life far too soon leaving behind his wife within a year of their wedding. He never had the opportunity to follow his heart and live out all his hopes and dreams.

The death of someone so young causes a lot of sorrow and pain for everyone around them because it is so unexpected. It can raise questions in our minds like; why would God let this happen? Especially since this young man gave his best in everything he did and tried, to the best of his ability, to live a good life. His death may cause some to question their faith. I really hope it does not, but a young man who led a good life dying so young is extremely challenging for anyone to accept.

I hope and pray that this young man has found eternal peace with God in Heaven, and, while we miss him here on Earth, we can find solace in the fact that Heaven is a better place. I do not know why God took him from us now or what plan God has in store for his family and friends who mourn his death, but I pray that his death may bring an abundance of blessings to his family and friends, especially his wife.

The other man who died was one of the most respected men I knew. His family loved and cherished him a lot. Despite his age and declining health he always did his best to help out on the family farm and was always willing to share stories about his life from living in Holland, to the struggles of growing up during World War II, to finally moving to Canada and settling down to raise a family. He had an abundance of knowledge to share and was always ready to help those in need. He leaves behind one of the most loving and hard working families I know. I grew up with a number of his grand children and all of them loved their Opa and enjoyed spending time with him. He was a great man and he will be missed.

The only consolation in the death of an elderly family member is to remember that they lived a long life and experienced all that this life had to offer, the good and the bad. Even this is not the most comforting of thoughts because it does nothing to fill the empty space left in our hearts by their passing. Only time will heal the wound inflicted upon us by the death of those close to us.

Death has a way of bringing us all together. Those things which drove us apart and drove a wedge between family members and communities no longer matter. Death puts all of our lives into perspective. It forces us to ask some challenging questions about what really matters to us. Every so often we should all take time to pause and reflect on our lives and make the changes we need to make, because we do not know how long we have to live so we should make the most of each day we have.

Ultimately when we think about death it is important to remember that we were not created for this life but for eternal life. This life, with all its joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, trials and successes, is simply dress rehearsal for eternal life and when that final curtain closes and we are born into eternal life, each one of us will have to answer to God for the choices we have made, so let us ensure that we are striving each day to live our lives in service to God and our neighbour, so that when we die Christ will say to us “well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master.”

I hope and pray that both of the men who died this week are enjoying eternal bliss in the presence of God. I will keep both of them in my prayers as well as their families and friends. I would ask that anyone reading this do the same.

May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.