Dealing with Death

I woke up this mopraying handsrning and prayed for a friend who just lost her husband.  She had been his care-giver for over seven years.  I went to worship – at the Church of Christ on Griffin Dr. – and asked for prayer for her and her family.  After worship, while eating lunch, I received another text informing me that another friend just lost his father – sudden and unexpectedly.  I plan on attending a memorial service tomorrow for the first death and now another soul has left this world.  I hurt.  I just hurt – my whole body aches for my two friends.  I lost my own father about 18 months ago and there are still times, I just lay in my bed at night and cry.  I lost my mother about 8 years ago.

What is it about death that just wrecks such havoc in our bodies?  We all know that death is a part of life – we are born, we live and ultimately we die. Death leaves us feeling so helpless and useless – there is simply nothing we can do.  So, now I find myself between worship services, trying to keep my emotions in check.  I am not even sure what those emotions are – indescribable as they may be. I just know that I hurt, I hurt for my own loss and I hurt for my friends’ loss.

I can give my pain and grief to the Lord and I know he will help me to manage it.  What do you do when you don’t have a faith? Just know that you can manage the death of a loved one or a friend’s loved one and that, over time, the pain will become more manageable.  It may never completely go away, but the pain becomes less and less severe.  Remember the good times you had with the person and let those positive thoughts fill your mind.  Death is part of life. Remember their contributions to the world and don’t be afraid to grieve your loss.

 

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Fourth of July, 2014

fireworks

 

I enjoyed the fire works in San Francisco with Roxie and her boys.  San Francisco…. ah, a city of choices, a city were most “anything goes,” a city of life and of romance.  Sitting at the Aquatic Park in the bay you will see some of everything; shorts and tank tops, winter coats, gloves and scarves, bicycles and pedestrians,ships and rowboats, even people with signs that read “Free Hugs!”  As I watched the fire works that night, I couldn’t help but think about those that have given their lives for the freedom we all hold dear.  The words, “The rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,” rang true as each rocket exploded above our heads and revealed it’s magic.  We can sit and enjoy the fireworks, but what about those that fight under real rockets exploding above their heads. Freedom.  What is it really?  The word freedom is a noun and Dictionary.com give the following definitions:

  1. The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement
    or under physical restraint
  2. Exemption from external controlinterference, regulation, etc.
  3. The power to determine action without restraint.
  4. Political or national independence.
  5. Personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who
    bought his freedom.
People boldly proclaim their freedom – and rightly should.  However, everyone has freedom – at least in the United States – and at least everyone is supposed to be free and have certain freedoms.  But, have you ever stopped and thought about what happens when your freedom and my freedom collide?  You are free to smoke and I am free to breath fresh air without smoke.  I raise this question because we were subjected to people around us choosing to exercise their freedom to smoke marijuana, but  Roxie and I are both allergic to it (never mind the fact that it is illegal.)  Where were our freedoms?  I used to sit at the feet of a wonderful old woman who shared this truth:  your freedom stops where my freedom begins.  I have never forgotten this phrase and I believe that many people today may need to consider it’s truest meaning.  Enjoy your freedom but stop and think about the fact that others have the same rights.

Benicia Inlet

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I was learning to use my camera this day and took a variety of pictures on different settings. I didn’t get too far with the actual settings on the camera but some of the pictures gave me pause to think.  This picture of dead branches and small seed pods peaked my curiosity.  Why was this particular plant so brown and dry when everything around it was still green? Perhaps it was just the time for this plant to die.  Is there still life in these seeds – life that will produce new life?  Our lives are like this plant.  There is a time for everything and there is a time for every event under heaven… A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.  A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.  A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away.  A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.  Ecclesiastes 3: 2-8

When a retired a few years ago, I learned there was a time for me to remain at my job and a time to move on.  Part of my being felt dead like the branches in my photo yet part of me was alive and ready for the next phase of my life.  Life often sends us winding down paths we may not have chosen but if we look at the seasons of our lives, new hope is born of those dried seeds of our thoughts.