Death has been on my mind lately. I think it started the week of February 12. One year ago on that day, Becky Dobbins delivered her first-born child, Chloe. Becky and Chloe were both very sick.
Chloe died. Becky lived and this February celebrated the one year anniversary of Chloe’s birth and death. You might think ‘celebrated’ is an odd choice for my description but it really is what Becky, her family and friends did. They celebrated the memory. Becky wrote some very poignant thoughts on her blog and you should go read them here.
Then Gabriel Howell, a little boy in Bedford who was suffering with cancer, died a couple of weeks ago. You can read about his cancer here. I didn’t know him or his family but, as we often do these days, I felt included because of the updates on his Facebook group.
This past week Jason Lagle died. He was only 36 and leaves a 5-year-old daughter to wonder why her dad died. I didn’t know Jason but I know a lot of people who knew him and liked him. These things make me wonder also.
I know there are two ways to react to the dying and death around me. One is logically and the other emotionally. Ideally, my reaction is a mixture. I’ve spent enough time dealing with death and the morality of God’s involvement/relationship with evil, dying and death that I know what I believe logically and theologically about it. I’ll save that for another post at another time.
For now, I just wanted to share a couple of thoughts in the way of dealing with the emotions surrounding death and dying although I do believe these thoughts to be very theologically sound too. Here is something Becky said in her blog:
There are many things we can never understand in this life, we can only trust the God who controls it all. Chloe’s death will never be one of those things where I can see God, in Heaven, being like “now don’t you see why this was such a good thing?”….. No, I see him saying “oh, Becky, I know it hurt. I cried with you. It was horrible. Death is My enemy. This enemy I have overcome…… enjoy your rest with your daughter!”
I don’t understand why. I don’t know how anyone could. Sometimes it’s hard for me to even look at God in times like this. He seems so distant. But even when I can’t lift my eyes to Heaven or bear the sight or thought of God, I still can’t look past the Cross. My attention is held there. It was at the Cross that God admitted we often won’t understand Him or His ways. It was at the cross that he met us on this unfair earth we live on and he suffered with us, like us, for no reason other than He deemed it to be so. He could have chosen another way but he didn’t. See the Cross. Look at it when you can even if you can’t look at God right now.