Living With Loss Archives 2010

Home | Autumn Creation | Harvest -Time of Thanksgiving | Autumn of Our Lives | Archives

eosnavg13.gif

  • The Return of Jesus as related in 1st Thess by Jon Quinn
  • Healing the Wounds of Others (poem) by Helen Steiner Rice
  • Do Not Neglect the Lessons You Learn in Your Sorrow by Cindy Granke
  • Misguided Grief by Wilson Adams
  • Never Alone (poem) by Barbara Foster
  • Never Alone (hymn)
  • Life's Unanswered Questions (poem) by James P. Needham
  • Thought on writing to relieve the pain of grief by Cindy Granke
  • A Tribute to June Reinke by Ruth Miller
  • A Poem of Mourning 
  • If Tomorrow Never Comes (poem)

The Return of Jesus As Related in First Thessalonians

By Jon W. Quinn

Each letter of the New Testament focuses on certain themes. One special theme of Paul's first letter to the church of Christ at Thessalonica is the return of Jesus Christ. In addition to discussing specifics surrounding the second coming, there is also  very practical information about the effect this ought to have on our lives right now.  Every chapter in First Thessalonians deals with the return of Jesus in some way, and the wise and discerning person will understand how important it is to consider these matters as he/she determines how to prioritize his/her life. The Bible is not a dead book filled with dead issues. It is the living word of God, with applications to be made today, and what we do with the counsel given in its pages will effect our lives now and in eternity.

      The Thessalonians knew very little about the second coming, but it was very important for them to know more about it for several reasons. First, in the face of severe persecution, they needed encouragement (1:13-16). Second, they needed motivation to overcome temptation (4:1-8). Finally, they needed to understand the need to always be watchful as they labor in the kingdom (5:14-19). And since their time was, in many respects, similar too our own, what they needed is what we also need.

Waiting For Deliverance

      “...and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

      When things are going well, it is easy to “wait” and sometimes even to forget. But waiting when times are difficult is not so easy (Psalm 13:1-3). The more faith we have, the better we are at “waiting”. Abraham is probably the most often used example of what faith is in the Bible. He waited 25 years for the son God had promised him to be born.

      Also, we must understand that “waiting” does not mean “relaxing”, “ignoring” or “sleeping”.  The waiting we are to be doing is active; described by such words as “watching”, “preparing” and “doing” (see also Matthew 24:45-49).

Rejoicing In Bringing Others to Christ

      “For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of the Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.”  (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20).

      It is reason for joy when we work hard to bring someone to Christ and they come. The joy does not come because we gain some material wealth, or better health, or our society honors us. Rather, it is because a soul that was lost is found. The Shepherd exclaims, “Rejoice with Me, for I have found My sheep!”

      Paul looked forward to rising into the air to meet Christ, and the joy he would experience in watching those he had taught rise with him. Friends, neighbors, relatives, even those who had once been enemies rising from the earth in new bodies, rejoicing and greeting one another! Do not ever give up! Do not quit! Jesus is coming. Teach the lost.

Stability in Faithful Living     

      “Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you; and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all men, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13).

      Living a faithful life is easier if we understand the importance of living “blameless” and “holy” (1 John 3:1-3). This would include treating others with righteous love. Deceit and abuse are out. When Jesus returns, we need to be found dealing with others in the way He showed us we ought when He was here the first time.

      Paul wrote this letter to encourage stability. The acceptance and obedience of god's word brings a  “rock-solid” foundation to the lives of those who will have it (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

Comfort In Sorrow

      “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

      Death is grevious. But my death does not have to be the source of sorrow to my loved ones as it is to those who “have no hope.” Death's victory has been annulled by Jesus' own resurrection, and on that basis it is promised to His disciples that they, too, can defeat death (1 Corinthians 15:50-52; 54,55).

      Thanks to the grace of God, we can put the fear of death to death, Do not live another day unprepared for eternity (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).

Entirely Sanctified

      “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who called you, and He will bring it to pass.” (1 Thessalonains 5:23,24).

      “Sanctify” means to “set apart”. This “setting apart” entails both the positive as well as the negative. We are to set ourselves apart from sin by “abstaining from every form of evil.” and to set ourselves unto that which is righteous by holding “fast to that which is good”  (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22).

      This passage also suggests that we are to be completely involved in the sanctification process; “body, soul and spirit.” Does that sound fanatical to you, to be so completely dedicated to your faith? It is what the Lord requires. Let both your outward as well as your inward person be sanctified as belonging to God. Get serious about it! Jesus is coming! 

eoslapis_bar2.gif

We enjoy WARMTH
because we have been COLD

We appreciate
LIGHT
because we have been in DARKNESS
By the same token,we can experience JOY
because we have known SORROW

Healing The Wounds Of Others

Let me not live a life that's free
From the things that draw me close to Thee,
For how can I ever hope to heal
The wounds of others I do not feel...
If my eyes are dry and I never weep,
If my heart is cold and it never bleeds,
How can I tell what my brother needs...
For when ears are deaf to the beggar's pleas,
And we close our eyes and refuse to see,
And we steel our hearts and harden our mind,
And we count it a weakness whenever we're kind,
We are no longer following the Father's way,
Or seeking His guidance from day to day..
For without crosses to carry and burdens to bear,
We dance through a life that is frothy and fair,
And "chasing the rainbow" we have no desire
For roads that are rough and realms that are higher
So spare me no heartache or sorrow, dear Lord,
For the heart that is hurt reaps the richest reward,
And God enters the heart that is broken in sorrow
As He opens the door to a brighter tomorrow,
For only through tears can we recognize
The suffering that lies in another's eyes.

by Helen Steiner Rice

eoslapis_bar2.gif

Do Not Neglect the LessonsYou Learn in Your Sorrow
by Cindy Granke

    I've lost both of my parents.  My sister was their caregiver and I traveled back and forth from South Carolina to Florida as often as I could.  My mother died at home of COPD and I learned how much it hurts to see a loved one struggle to breathe and to swallow. The night before she died, she was frightened because she could not feel her legs. My sister and I were with her the next morning when she took her last breath. She looked so peaceful for the first time in a quite a while.  My father preceded her in death after years of living with Alzheimer's disease.  I won't write a lot about that at this time.  Those of you who have been through that very long goodbye know the sadness and pain of grieving twice.  The first was when my dad no longer recognized me, and was sometimes afraid of me.  The second was when he could no longer function and our prayers were answered for his release from the body that had become his prison.  

 

    I said all that to say this.  I loved my parents but as much as it hurt when they died, nothing prepared me for the death of our daughter in an automobile accident.  When we first began Our Hope Online, I wrote a series of articles about coping with her loss which can be found in the 2006 archives located at the bottom of this page. One of the articles was about grieving mothers, and I'd like to quote a short except from it.  

    A young woman told me that, when her brother was killed several years ago, it was as if her mom had no other children, for the next two years. At the time, I didn’t know how to answer her. But here is what I wish I had said: “To a mother, all of her children are like an extension of her body, her flesh. When one of them dies, it is like a part of her body has been ripped away.   Other body parts may be in place and working fine, but her attention is now entirely focused on the gaping hole left by the part that was severed. None of the surviving body parts can stop the pain and the shock, or bring the missing part back to its place. It’s just gone, and recuperating from such a loss, whether to a body, or to a family, is a slow and painful process.”  

   Grief is a learn-as-you-go experience, and we don’t always get it right, but no one wants the experience necessary to gain that wisdom, either. It’s best when we can learn by talking and sharing what we do know.   

   My purpose in writing all of this is simply to emphasize that even when we are grieving, God has work for us to do.  I had a wonderful support group of Christian women.  When I couldn’t sleep, I got up and tearfully wrote long emails to that wonderful group of sisters.  Some of them, including my own sister, had lost adult children in years past.  I made up my mind that if I ever got through that horrible loss, I would help others who would go through similar losses.  And in doing that, I found that it made me stronger.  I sometimes cried with those who grieved, but that’s okay.  Others wept with me.    

   Ladies, we all must suffer grief in our lives.  Please do not neglect the experiences and the beneficial lessons you learn in your sorrow. 

For only through tears can we recognize the suffering that lies in another’s eyes.”

eoslapis_bar2.gif

 ,

Misguided Grief

The tears of Jesus were real. How can one read John 11 and fail to come away without a greater understanding of the emotional humanity of Jesus. When Jesus walked upon our dirt, He connected with people. His emotion of compassion surfaces again and again (Matt.9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34). In what are arguably the most famous stories ever told, Jesus noted the compassion of the Samaritan for a wounded man (Luke 10:33) and the compassion of a loving father for a wayward son (Luke 15:20). It is little wonder that Paul admonishes us to “put on a heart of compassion” (Col.3:2) and “weep with those who weep” (Rom.12:19). In so doing we become like Him.

Celebrities Die in Threes

I’ve always heard that although in recent weeks celebrity deaths seem to be contagious.

  • Ed McMahon—longtime pitchman for Johnny Carson and leading spokesman for Budweiser beer—deeply in debt and dead at the age of 86
  • Farrah Fawcett—one of the original Charlie’s Angels and the sex symbol of the 70’s (she posed nude for Playboy), was married once, divorced, followed by several romantic relationships including actor Ryan O’Neal with whom she had a son our of wedlock—dead at age 62
  • Michael Jackson—the King of Pop whose 1982 album, Thriller, is the best selling album of all time, and who was known for eccentric behavior, multiple pedophilia charges and addiction to prescription drugs—dead at age 50
  • Billy Mays—full-volume pitch man for OxyClean and a host of other products not sold in stores (although they are sold in every other store in Pigeon Forge)—dead at age 50
  • Steve McNair—popular retired NFL quarterback, married and father of four, carried on an extra-marital affair with a twenty-year-old waitress—shot by his girlfriend who suspected him of seeing someone else—dead at age 36

And so on (and on). By the time this piece finds its way into your hands, many others will be added. Should we not be surprised that larger-than-life celebrities die, too? Last time I checked, we all die (Heb.9:27)—including the rich and famous.

It is the reaction to celebrity deaths that concern me. For example, the blogs are rampant with emotional attachment to these people. Of Michael Jackson’s death—“A part of me has died, too,” “I have been crying and my tears won’t stop,” “I have been lying awake until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning feeling sick and gutted,” “I feel isolated—like I lost my best friend…” It is both odd and sad.

First, I think it important to note that we should never make light of the death of anyone.  When someone makes the transition from now to eternity, it is cause for pause and sober reflection. There are two reactions, however, that become common in celebrity deaths:

1.  They become the best person that ever lived. Ungodly living is often glossed over as their death only magnifies their larger than life aura. And anyone who would dare point out sinful behavior that often leads to an early demise is vilified. One Facebook account posted that if anyone said one negative thing about Michael Jackson, they would be removed as a friend. A “friend” noted that since MJ’s death and funeral service at the Staples Center, nine U.S. soldiers had been killed in the Middle East with little media notice. He was removed as a friend. Others write about the ungodly: “Rest in peace.” Am I the only one who fails to understand what that means? How can anyone living immorally rest in peace?

2.  We mourn like we know them. I do not know any of these people—have never met them and have no relationship with them. Yet because we see them on television, we connect with them in an odd emotional way, and grieve at their passing as if we have lost a genuine friend.  The psychologists can decipher the why of it all, but there is no denying the reality of emotional attachments to the rich and famous.

We Get It Backwards

Here is the kicker: if we’re not careful, we expend more emotional energy to those we don’t know than to those we do. Take for example your church family. Every congregation of which I am aware is filled with problem people—people with problems, hurts, and heartaches. How much emotional energy do we give to them? These are not people we see in the movies, listen to their music, or throw touchdown passes, but are real folks with whom we worship and with whom we have a relationship. Their lives should touch and impact us. Do they?

And this: Are we bothered more by celebrity deaths than we are by the deaths of those who “die in the Lord” (Rev.14:13)? I’ve been to some funerals of godly older Christians that were barely attended by younger couples. Why? I am amazed at the callousness that we show our own brethren at times.

“I Don’t Know What to Say to People…”

Friend, join the crowd and get in line because I don’t either. I have learned over time, however, that what you say isn’t nearly as important as the fact that you showed up. There are many situation best served by golden silence (Eccl.3:7b). Just the fact that you are there to share your heart means more than anything you can say. And this: How can we claim to be like Jesus if we cannot weep with the hurting?

Here are things you can do—

  • call ahead and take supper to a burdened family
  • write down a meaningful Scripture on a piece of paper and ask them to put it in their pocket (Psalms 16:5, 30:5b, Rom.8:28; Eph.3:14-21, etc.)
  • tell them you love them
  • tell them that you mentioned their names and lifted them up before the Throne in prayer
  • show up at the hospital—and make your visit brief
  • send a hand-written note (the old fashioned kind with a stamp)
  • weep with them—tears are God’s miniature messengers of love that transcend words

Jesus cared. A man’s man, He was moved by the plight of the hurting. His tears were real as He was willing to expend emotional energy to connect with folks like us. The saddest words I have ever heard are—“I’m afraid to love because I might get hurt.” Aren’t you glad Jesus wasn’t afraid to love? And He loved knowing He would get hurt—but did it anyway. Those who choose to distance themselves from hurting brethren miss out—they miss out on some of the greatest opportunities to serve and…they miss out on knowing the heart of Jesus.

Celebrity deaths do one thing for sure—they are a publicized reminder that we all die. Thus it behooves us to ready ourselves for the inevitable and, in the meantime, comfort those we know who experience loss and pain.

Aug.15, 2009  

eoslapis_bar2.gif

Never Alone

by Barbara Foster

In 1993 I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Over the course of a year, I became increasingly disabled. Through it all, I was never alone.

  • When I was temporarily blind, Christ led me through the darkness.
  • When I was unable to walk, God took away the fear.
  • When my world was turned upside down, God's word provided an anchor.
  • When I lost my ability to speak, God heard my silent prayers.
  • When I was too weak to cook, He sent wonderful people bringing food and encouragement and support.
  • When I felt useless, the Lord sent a tiny, premature granddaughter who needed special love and care.
  • When I felt disconnected and my faith was tested, He gave me the strength to get to church to be with other Christians and be renewed by the worship and the lessons.
  • When my heart was broken as friends turned away because they couldn't cope with my new reality, God sent new friends who are there for me no matter what.
      The list could go on and on even as the blessings go on and on. For those who would feel sorry for me, I ask rather that they join me in praising God for His constant love and protection. No matter what the need or difficulty, I have been provided for and I have never been alone, because He promised ... "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God."  (Isaiah 43:2) 

 

(written by Barbara Foster - a Christian in Ocala, FloridaMay 5, 1998

Taken from Whit Sasser’s “Exhortations & Stuff”

 

eoslapis_bar2.gif

     The poem above reminded me of a hymn that used to be in our song books.  Cyberhymnal attributes the words to Ludie D. Pickett.  She wrote these words in 1897.  cg

Never Alone

I’ve seen the lightning flashing, I’ve heard the thunder roll.
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, which almost conquered my soul.
I’ve heard the voice of my Savior, bidding me still to fight on.
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

 

The world’s fierce winds are blowing, temptation sharp and keen.
I have a peace in knowing my Savior stands between—
He stands to shield me from danger when my friends are all gone.
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

 

When in affliction’s valley I tread the road of care,
My Savior helps me carry the cross so heavy to bear;
Though all around me is darkness, earthly joys all flown;
My Savior whispers His promise, never to leave me alone!

 

He died on Calvary’s mountain, for me they pierced His side.
For me He opened that fountain, the crimson, cleansing tide.
For me He waiteth in glory, seated upon His throne.
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

 

(Chorus)

No, never alone, no never alone,
He promised never to leave me,
He’ll claim me for His own;
No, never alone, no never alone.
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

eoslapis_bar2.gif

Life's Unanswered Questions
By: James P Needham
(October 11, 1974)

~
~
Life is filled with shocking changes
Rushing in like flooding streams;
To sweep away our highest hopes
And bring to naught our fondest dreams.
~
The wheels of life are ever turning
And from beneath them sometimes fly
Events that make us happy
Or to ask the reasons why. 
~
Our days are spent with vexing problems
Answers to which we cannot find
And we conclude in desperation
Life to us has been unkind. 
~
Difficulties are all about us
They come in may ways,
And the reasons oft escape us
Throughout our earthly days. 
~
We'll understand these thing better
When we come before God's throne;
Till then we must accept
The things that can't be known. 
~
If our hearts cry out in terror
For answers we do not hear,
We can know it is best for us
Or God would make the way all clear. 
~
There are times when life's a burden
To be borne in tragedy's grief,
And the sources all around us
Provide no help or sweet relief. 
~
There are questions that have no answers;
There are tragedies we can't explain,
But with faith in God's good mercy
We can bear and soothe the pain.
~ 
It is vain to seek for reasons
That God does not provide;
So let us trust in His good judgment,
And in His loving care confide
~

~ ~

Some questions can't be answered
Though we search far and wide,
So be content to live in ignorance
Till we're gathered to His side.  
 ~
 When life's burdens are hard and heavy
And our hearts are filled with fear;
There is comfort and consolation
Just in knowing God is near. 
~
In our life's darkest hours;
When there seems to be no light,
Let us know God's sun is shinning
Even though it escapes our sight.
 
~
That light will our way illumine
More and more to the perfect day,
If God's will we'll acknowledge
In all we do and say. 
~
When our lives are drenched with sorrow
And our hearts are filled with pain,
We must trust in God's tomorrow,
If peace of mind we would regain. 
~
Life must move in one direction,
Ever forward toward God's throne.
No peace of mind can be engendered,
Dwelling on the passed and gone. 
~
We must not think in sadness
Of the things that might have been,
We can't return to change it
Or live our lives again. 
~
We must look ever forward,
Never harboring up the past
And from each tragedy ever learning
Greater lessons than from the last.
~ 
The game of life is hard and treacherous
And we can't always defeat,
But we can learn by God's great mercy

To take the bitter with the sweet.

 

eoslapis_bar2.gif

A personal note from Cindy about grieving. . . .

     Never underestimate the value of expressing your feelings on paper, and sending a card, a poem or a note when there is a death in someone's family, even in your own.      

     Writing a poem, or keeping a daily journal for awhile, saying all the things you wish you could have said before a loved one died, is a valuable technique for coping with your sorrow.  You see, it helps us to write out our thoughts and feelings at such times.  I wrote a journal after our daughter died, and I called it, Letters to Erica.  When Erica is on my mind, I often find comfort in reading them and the kind things others wrote to me.  As I often do, I was recently remembering my daughter's death, and I decided to browse through my Erica scrapbook.  I still draw comfort from it.    

     My father died of Alzheimer's Disease, after suffering with it for several years. Being unable to understand conversations or comprehend what was happening to him must have been frightening, and I remember him running his fingers through his hair and saying things like, I just don't know what is wrong with me.” Afterward, writing a long letter to tell Daddy that I loved him and that I understood how frightening an experience it must have been for him was too painful to do, right away.  So I waited for several weeks until some of my own emotions had settled down.  I had always told him I loved him, but I simply needed to say it again.  I saved that letter, too, and I read it from time, to time.    

     While browsing, I came across a poem our dear friend and brother in Christ, Jim Needham, had sent to us.  Jim had written the poem for some friends whose 17 year old son had taken his own life.  It touches on the deep sadness and sorrow we feel in many different circumstances, and I asked him if I could share it with you.  He had written it several years before the terrorist attack on our nation, on September 11, 2001, and I decided to illustrate it with photographs from that horrible event in all of our lives, because they seem to fit.

     As you talk or write your way through your own grief, be comfortable writing or saying whatever feels right for you and brings you peace.  It will help to soothe your pain.

eoslapis_bar2.gif

A Tribute to June Reinke
 June 11, 1921 - May 27, 2010
Written by Ruth Miller
(Read at June's Memorial Service by Leon Miller)

     June was born mentally challenged and never had the “quality of life” as most know it.  Regardless of the fact that she was always taken care of, and was mainstreamed into society as best as possible, June knew she was different.   She didn’t understand the whys and wherefores of “being different”, but she knew she was different.  There are so many milestones, that we as normal individuals complete in our lives, which were far beyond the reaches of June’s basic ability to complete.  She never knew the fun of learning how to drive, never felt the anticipation of going on a first date, never realized the joy of graduating from high school, going to college, pursuing a career or getting married.  June never experienced the love of a husband or the joy of holding a child or grandchild in her arms.      

     Anything that required normal functional brain ability, June could not do, but she tried with all the ability she could muster.  However, June was very good at crafts.  For many years, when she was attending the Lakeland Multipurpose Center (which is an adult daycare center), she would make a lot of crafts that were sold at craft fairs to make money for the center’s activities.  June loved doing this and it was the one thing in her life she could take pride in as an “accomplishment” by her. She became the ‘Queen of the Craft Room’ in her own mind, because crafts were something she could do and do very well.  Even at the Amonet Adult Living Facility where June resided for the past several years, June made crafts for them at different times as well.  June enjoyed doing crafts and again, this was something she could do and took pride in being able to make things for others, especially during the holidays.      

     There were accomplishments for June which were big to her . . . I was told about one time when June was at the Ladies Bible Class (which June attended before she was unable to do so), she was called on to read a short Bible passage.  She would struggle a little through it but she did it and did it well.  She was so pleased that she was able to do this . . . and you could see a smile that was slowly spreading from ear to ear.  It was as if she was saying inside to herself . . . “Yeah!  I can do that and I just did!”  This meant so much to her, that she could participate in this manner with other adults.  At her ALF, when they had a special event and had flyers to hand out, June was the person they always asked to do this and she took this job seriously; she handed out a flyer to anyone and everyone who came through their front door.  She did it with pride and did it well.      

     June was unable to grasp an understanding of so much in her lifetime here on earth . . . but one thing she knew and knew very well, and that was . . . she knew there was a God and she knew there was a place called heaven.  June was brought up in Catholicism.  All she really knew was that she was to attend Mass on certain days.  She never understood any of the whys or wherefores of going to church, except that this is what she was always told she had to do and she did it.  When June first came to live with us in 1986, Ruth would take her to the Catholic Church on Saturday.  When she picked her up after service, Ruth would always ask June to tell her something she remembered or learned.  June never had a response other than to say to Ruth that she just sat there for an hour.  She was simply going through the motions of “going to church” but had no clue as to why she was doing this or why she should do this, other than the fact that she had done this all of her life.  June would also go with us to church on Sunday since we couldn’t leave her by herself.    

     She loved to sing hymns at church and even though she could not carry a tune in a bucket, she sang to her heart’s desire.  Sometimes she even got Ruth off tune, but be that as it may, this made no difference to her heavenly Father; He heard her songs and to Him they were lovely.  He knew she had limitations, but to Him, June was still His child and that was all that mattered.  June seemed to enjoy attending church with us and gradually decided on her own that she wanted to attend church with us regularly and did not want to go back to the Catholic Church.  When June would attend church with us, we could tell that she was listening . . . and for a while, she could tell us some of the things she heard and what we were studying.  However, we were very surprised when she told us one night she wanted to obey the gospel and be baptized.  She wanted to be baptized that very night but we told her no, that we needed to discuss the further.  June eventually won over (you have to understand that June also has a stubborn streak that just won’t wait too) and she was baptized on Sunday April 3, 1994.  Although June had the mentality of an 8-year-old child all her life and never reached the “age of accountability”, as such, she was always a child of the Father.      

     June went through times in her life where she endured above and beyond what we would do if we were in her situation.  When she was in the hospital this past February, to the amazement of her doctors and all of us involved with her care, she overcame a severely compromising life situation . . . she still wanted to live! In fact, she had said to us on numerous occasions when she was living with us that she was going to live to be 104!  She kept on pushing herself to continue with life . . . where others in her situation would have long since given up.       

     June’s last several months were a real up-and-down struggle for her, as she slowly began to lose all control of her mind . . . dementia is an utterly devastating disease . . . and it did not spare June in its ravaging.  It was as if her mind would not shut off;  like a phonograph recording on continuous play, except the needle was stuck in a groove and it repeated itself  over and over to ad infinitum, red, red, red, red, red, red . . . which by the way, was June’s favorite color.  When the dementia found another thought, it plucked it from June’s mind and the repetition would begin all over again until the dementia found something else.  We are so thankful that June was not aware of the indignities she was having to suffer during this time.  Fortunately for June, she slept right through much of her last days here on earth, and her mind was at rest to some degree.    

     Despite all the suffering and the indignation she went through at the end, June’s time on earth has now ended and the Heavenly Father has taken her home to live with Him in eternity.  Today, June is existing in another plane of life . . . one that we here on earth can only imagine the likeness of . . .  being surrounded with unfathomable love, joy, peace, warmth, light and beauty . . . a life that we cannot even begin to comprehend with our finite minds, but yet, a place where we all desire to go when our time on this earth has ended.  Yes, June may have missed out on a lot of earth’s pleasures as we know them, but now . . . she is basking in all the beauties of heaven.   All these years when she seemed to be “below the norm” according to our society and our way of life, she is now ahead of us all!  She will know way before many of us will, what heaven is all about and what a beautiful place our heavenly Father has provided for us when it comes our time to pass from this side of life, if we do His will.      

     Yes, we will miss you June . . . we will miss your antics . . . we will miss seeing you so involved in your “word search puzzles” . . . we will miss that silly grin when you finally found a specific puzzle piece . . . we will miss seeing you smile when you have managed to complete something you have struggled with for so long.

     Now today, as we deliver these final parting thoughts on your life as a memorial to you, your soul will already be at peace in the arms of our loving Father in heaven.   Goodbye June.

And Jesus called a little child unto him,
and set him in the midst of them, and said,
Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted,
and become as little children, ye shall not enter
into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore
shall humble himself as this little child, the same
is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:2-4  

eoslapis_bar2.gif

     I left this poem just the way it was written, because it seems to illustrate the loneliness and forlorn feelings I have felt after losing a loved one.  It brought tears to my eyes as I read it.  However, the second section illustrates the sun beginning to shine again, and the looking forward to being with that loved one in Heaven.  So be sure to read the whole thing.  I only added some photographs sent to me by a good friend, which seemed to fit the poem.  Thanks be to our loving God who gives us hope of that glad reunion with those who have gone on before us. Cindy

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee;

and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee

(Isaiah 43:2)

 

Weeping may endure for a night,

but joy cometh in the morning.

(Psalm 30:5)

 A Poem Of Mourning

 

where would you go
that i cannot follow?
for how long must i wait
until we meet again?
what would i do
in times that i miss you?
where would i go
in times when i long to see you again?
how must i spend
the nights without you?
how do i bear
each morning that you’re not there?
shall i ever smile again?
will i ever laugh again?
will i ever face the world again
knowing that im not alone?
why must you leave me?
why must i cry these tears
when you’re not here
to wipe them all away?
why must i suffer
the empty days without my beloved?
why must i dream
without you by my side?
the days shall never be the same again
i will never be the same again
without you
the life of my soul,

the joy of my heart,
the light in my eyes,
the hope of my dreams

the comfort of my lonely nights,
without you my beloved,
i grieve and cry,
i grope and stumble in the dark,
i weep with all my soul
i desire with all my heart
i let go of all of me that you took away with you

i keep all of you that is in me,
and will always remain in me
wherever i may go
i wait and pray and hope
i will look forward to each brand new day
thankful for all that i’ve had and will always have
thankful for the sun that shines again
believing and hanging on
believing that life will go on
it can’t help but go on
it shall go on
and in so going
there really is no end
only mornings and evenings
and life that never ever ends.

(author unknown)

 

 

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning

those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who 

have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,

even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who

are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no

means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself

will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an

archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ

will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught

up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  

Therefore comfort one another with these words.

(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

eoslapis_bar2.gif

This is one of several slightly different versions of the well known title.  It touched my heart.  Maybe it will touch yours, too.  Cindy

~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

If Tomorrow Never Comes

@  @

If I knew it would be the last time
that I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep. 
.
If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more. 
.
If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day. 
.
If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute or two
to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would know I do. 
.
If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away. 
.
For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything right. 
.
There will always be another day
to say our "I love you's",
And certainly there's another chance
to say our "Anything I can do's?" 
.
But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget, 
.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.. 
.
So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day, 
.
That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish. 
.
So hold your loved ones close today,
whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love the
mand that you'll always hold them dear, 
.
Take time to say "I'm sorry," "please forgive me,"
"thank you" or "it's okay".
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today 

~anonymous~

 

 




http://ourhopeonline.com

November 2017