Thursday, October 03, 2013

Birth. Death. Both Are Part of the Big Picture.

"There is a time to be born and a time to die..."  ... from Ecclesiastes 3

... and last night was Tom's dad's time to die. Both our fathers died in the month of October, Tom's dad passed away on my mother's birthday and just days ago she and I spoke about how my grandfather died on my sister's birthday and on my sister's son's birthday, our dad (his grandfather) passed away.

Birth. Death. Always entwined.

People die--they just do. We all just do. It's how God planned things and we'll find true peace if we accept that death is very much a part of life. I've seen too many people on hoarder-type shows (and in Real Life) who were so shocked by their parents' deaths, so unprepared in their hearts, so non-accepting of the whole idea of death, that they became paralyzed into an early sort of death, themselves, for the remainder of their years.

Always, God has something better. And if we keep Him close--the only one who does understand everything--His presence will comfort us, and life will be good even while we don't quite get it all.

Tom has a business trip to Maryland on Tuesday, but he may squeeze in a quick flight to California first. We're not sure what we'll do. This is all still new--it happened suddenly after a massive heart attack late last night.

Tom's dad was 86 and lived a long, adventurous early life as a minister, as a missionary to Mexico where Tom was born (the last of 4 children), he and Tom's mom ran a Bible camp and later became cross country truckers. Last February he was given days to live, but he surprised everyone, perked right up, and lasted another 8 months. 

And now he resides in Heaven with the growing crowd of folks we know there who wait for us.

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants."   ... Psalm 116:15


People say, "Just move-on!" And yes, we should move-on. But perhaps not before we heal or--at least--begin healing. Otherwise our moving-on becomes limping on, staggering on, causing scraped knees and more pain, not less. Though much healing can happen on the road, maybe it must always be a continuation of what happened in stillness before the journey.

"He says, “Be still, and know that I am God..."   ... Psalm 46:10

At least, that's what I've been thinking about this week.


If you enjoy vintage photography, I'm sure you'll like these and these.

(Thanks to Kim for sharing those at Facebook this morning!)


Dolores said...

Debra, so sorry to hear about Tom's dad. My deepest sympathy to you both. His dad really had an interesting life! He must have been quite a guy.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

My sincere sympathy to you and Tom and all Tom's family. Even though it is part of God's plan, grief is still something to be worked through. It cannot be sidestepped. But it is part of God's plan.

Debra said...

Dolores--thank-you for your condolences. Yes, Tom's Dad was quite a guy! That's the perfect way to put it.

Kristi--oh yes! Definitely grieving is part of a necessary process--that's what I meant by this:

"And if we keep Him close--the only one who does understand everything--His presence will comfort us, and life will be good even while we don't quite get it all."

But the scary thing is when we become a ball of grief, unable to find joy or closure, remembering only the day of the person's death (not their wonderful days) and remaining sad or dysfunctional all the days of the rest of our lives. That is the kind of grief that destroys lives.

Thanks, Ladies! Blessings, Debra

Pat said...

The circle will not be unbroken...when we are reunited with our loved ones one glorious day.
We are after all...terminal. We need to be sure we are ready for our final day.
My most sincere sympathy to you Tom and all the family.

Judy said...

Sorry for your loss, Debra and Tom.
I know it happens, but I don't like it. And I don't like accepting it as a part of life. It feels unnatural for a reason. But I deal with it, and trust in a God who has beaten death once and for all.

Elizabeth said...

I am sorry to hear of the loss of Tom's Dad. It is not easy to loose the ones we love but as you said so well, it is a part of life and one day the pain is replaced with the memories we have of them.

Nan said...

I'm very sorry to hear of your loss.

Anonymous said...

Goodbye is hard. My sympathy to Tom and all of you.
Elizabeth in WA

Mary said...

So sorry for your loss. I will be keeping your family in my prayers.

Echoes From the Hill said...

My condolences on the death of Tom's father. It is always hard to lose a parent, no matter how old we are, or they are.

My father died on my nephew's birthday. Kind of puts a damper on the date.


Rosemary said...

My deepest sympathy to you and Tom. May it comfort you to know others care.

Beth said...

My sincere condolensces on the loss of your father-in-law. I like your perspective on death being a part of life. It truly is and for those of us who walk with Jesus, it really is just the beginning of REALLY living.

Anonymous said...

Debra, so sorry to hear about Tom's Dad. Prayers and Love. Joyce