The Death Void, Part 2

After a “Freshly Pressed” feature and nearly 1100 views in one day, not to mention numerous insightful and stimulating comments from around the world, I thought this might be something worth discussing further.  The Death Void (Part 1) can be viewed here if you need to catch up.

Honestly, I was caught off guard a bit by having my thoughts thrust onto the world’s stage.  Not that I would have changed any of them.  It’s simply that when I was writing them into my blog, I wasn’t taking into consideration circumstances in other parts of the world.  Here I am, a Caucasian, middle-class, suburbanite American.  I’ve lived all of my 37 years in either greater Kansas City or Nashville, TN.  I’ve always had food.  I’ve always had a home.  I’ve always had good schools.  I’ve always had good health care.  This is the only life I have ever experienced first-hand.  I’m not naive to the plight of those in other parts of the world, who daily deal with famine, disease, and other disasters.  I simply didn’t know at the time of writing that anyone outside of my little American clique would care to read my words.

walk toward the lightI certainly recognize that for anyone, anywhere on Earth, an extended period during which life is untouched by death is an amazing blessing that should be cherished and not over-analyzed.  I want to be clear that I do not take this for granted.  It’s simply a phenomenon that I hadn’t given much thought to until recently, when I had to get out the suit that I pretty much only wear for weddings and funerals.  I was going to a wedding.  I realized that I hadn’t been to a funeral in a very long time.

Some of what I’m experiencing is generational.  My wife and I are, for the most part, simply at that age in between losing our grandparents and losing our parents.  Apart from that, only the grace of God has kept our circle of friends and loved ones safe and healthy for all these years.  Don’t get me wrong – our lives haven’t been all sunshine and roses.  My wife’s parents were both diagnosed with cancer within two months of each other.  They both beat it.  My daughter was hospitalized with pneumonia at the age of 4.  That was among the most frightening experiences of my life.  And yet, we would never presume to begin to understand or relate to the daily battles others face around the world, many just to survive.

One of the many things that drew me to my wife initially was her heart for others.  We live blocks from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital.  My wife makes a point of following the plights of cancer-stricken children who fight their battles there, through online blogs and by visiting them in person.  I can’t begin to fathom what it’s like to have your 3-year-old daughter tell you that it hurts when she breathes, only to learn that a cancerous tumor the size of a grapefruit is pushing her heart up against her ribs.  I can’t begin to imagine the daily small victories and large defeats both the child and the parents experience in the months and years of treatment they all endure.

I guess the bottom line is simply that life, every single day of it, is a gift.  This “death void” is going to come to an end, of that I’m sure.  When it does, I will do the things that many do when faced with death’s mortal sting.  I will hurt.  I will weep.  I will reminisce.  I will miss.  I will cling to the ones I love.  I will pray.  I will give thanks.  I will celebrate the life of the one who has passed.  And for me personally, I will rest in the knowledge that my Lord Christ Jesus has already defeated death on the cross, and that my loved one is resting in His holy presence.


~ by suitenectar on May 13, 2010.

3 Responses to “The Death Void, Part 2”

  1. Excellent post.

  2. aren’t some wedding funerals too? Good call having a suit for both!

  3. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” II COR. 5:8
    I love God’s formulas…absent = present! These little drops of Nectar taste so very sweet.

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