I recognize that the first stage in grieving is denial. I’ve never really been one to live life outside of reality so this whole denial thing isn’t that easy for me. I’d love to deny the presence of evil in this world. I’d love to deny the presence of senseless trauma in this world. I would love to deny that my brother is dead. However, denying it doesn’t help me cope with it. I’ve been reading Romans lately and it seems that I am learning we never really understand scripture apart from crisis, perhaps because it was written in crisis and for crisis.
Romans 5 reminds us that while we may never be able to point to our present suffering or what we claim to be our faith as sure sign that death is not the end it does remind us that death is certain. The good news is that life is even more certain. My brother’s death is becoming for me, even now, an opportunity to bless the name of the Lord – yes, even in the face of death – because while I know that death is certain, life is even more certain.
Please do not hear me say that death is our friend. Comments like, “He’s in a better place,” are well intentioned but they are so far from the mark that they hurt. My brother is not in a better place because of death. In fact, he is dead. If anything he is dead and waiting for the resurrection just like all the other dead people out there at which time he will be judged by Jesus Christ. Death is never our friend. Death is the final sting of the enemy; the last blow of a dying foe seeking to sake someone down with him. Again, the good news is that while death is certain, life is even more certain because of what Jesus has accomplished for us and in us.
May you live life to the fullest today.
Grace and Peace