Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thoughts on Death

I've got 2 weeks worth of stuff to report - and a list longer than my arm to get done today. So, I told myself that I am allowed to type for 15 minutes and then I have to finish this post and go sweep and mop the kitchen floor. I don't want to write too long of a post, anyway, because I don't want to burden my readers with feeling that they have to keep on to the end. It's better to have several, shorter ones, I think.

Today, I am moderately cheerful. It's the first "happy" day I've had since Julie's death. Maybe it's because I was finally able to really cry yesterday . I put in a song the other night by Steve and Annie Chapman entitled, "No Regrets." I thought that would induce tears. It's a lovely song about a widower whose wife is taken too early by cancer. It made me pause, but didn't work me up, emotionally. Of course, the kids were around and I suppose that's why. I wasn't off-duty and they were popping in and out of the kitchen where I was playing the cd. But yesterday I was listening to "Sarabeth" by Rascal Flatts. First - what is the title of this song? I always thought it was "Skin" but Will swears up and down it's called "Sarabeth." I haven't bothered to research it on the internet. But I do kind of wonder. That song gets me every time and yesterday was no exception. It's about a teenage girl who is diagnosed with cancer and how she loses her hair. I think the reason I respond so strongly to it is because I have lost friends to this dreaded disease and they've gone bald from treatments before dying. And then it taps into my fear as a parent of having a child diagnosed with cancer. Anyway, it's sweet. I was putting away laundry in my bedroom and I just stood there and sobbed and sobbed as the song played.

Julie's funeral was Wednesday. Paul went with me. When I had called him last Thursday to let him know that Julie had died, one of his first responses was, "Do you want me to take the day off to go with you to the funeral?" He won major points with me for that! It was a good funeral. The church was packed, which is how you want it to be when you go. I think it's so sad when people die and there's hardly any in attendance at their service. On the other hand, it might indicate they outlived everyone they knew - which wouldn't be a bad thing, either!

But it was good - very moving. Both Paul and I were choking up in the beginning because they showed picture after picture of Julie up on the screen in the front of the church. She was so vibrant and alive, and always, always smiling. It was so hard to reconcile that with the casket sitting in the front of the church. One thing that I walked away with from the service was the reminder of how Christ truly conquered the grave. Death is the enemy of mankind. But, when you are a Christian, even that is not to be feared. Christ's death and resurrection took away the power of death. I tried later to think if there was any other religious figure who claimed to have done the same and I came up empty. And then Paul was pointing out to me, how Revelation tells us that the anti-Christ will have fatal-like wounds, but will pretend to die and then be resurrected. Even he won't be able to do what Christ did.

On the way home Paul asked me what part was hardest for me and he talked about what had moved him. He then told me that I am "not allowed to die" because he doesn't want to go through that. Sweet! But, more than likely, one of us will bury the other at some point. So, we hang on tight to our time together, loving and living all that we can now. There aren't any guarantees and it could change even today. But I really, really hope it's a long time from now. It's honestly not because I fear death, but only because I love my husband so much and the thought of being widowed seems like more than I could possibly endure.

But even then, Jesus would carry me and I would get through what seems impossible today.

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