Death offers room to grow during life | Faithful Living

The death of someone we know always reminds us that we are still alive---perhaps for some purpose which we ought to re-examine.

--Mignon McLaughlin, “The Neurotic’s Notebook.”

Last week, my high school classmates gathered to bid a very fond and love-filled farewell to our Gloria: a dedicated wife, mother of two young adults, a teacher and business owner. Filled with love and a truly beautiful laugh, she danced her way through life and toward her impending passing, gifting family and friends with an open heart and willingness to talk about hope and life and heaven. At the very end she stopped talking, for the next adventure in her life required her full attention. During those few days her cancer’s ferocious attack took second stage to an enticing new life only she could see. Then, with the beauty of a graceful pirouette, she let go and moved into the arms of her parents, whom she had not felt in a long time.

While we are left to live without her for a time, we can be nothing but thrilled she is filled with life and love in the heaven she gratefully anticipated and talked about with enthusiasm.

With the realities of this life and heaven in the forefront of our minds, my husband and I met this week with our attorney to be certain our wills and directives are in order. We called our kids, talked about life and death issues, and updated them on our current thinking regarding such topics as medical intervention and burial. We told them who to contact and where to find the paperwork in the unlikely event we dance our way to heaven at the very same time. We reminded them of the importance of staying in loving contact with each other and at all times to foster good familial relationships.

As our own parents age and the mortal nature of this life becomes a more present issue, we have increasing awareness that you never know when life circumstances might require you to draw near family members at moments of stress and sadness. Those are not the times to do repair work. Those are the times to stand on strong foundations of love and trust and respect.

Our thoughts have not only touched on dying. They have also celebrated living this week! We have experienced a rush of ideas and a renewed energy for our own lives. With almost an urgency, we have been assembling a master list of goals and projects that we no longer want to ignore.

The temperatures are warming. The days are long. The beauty of our island is not hidden beneath gray skies. Feel the energy? It’s time to move! Time to live boldly, for time is a gift.

Author Denise Tanner once wrote, “Time is a very healing place, one in which you can grow.” If you have faced a recent heartache, take a moment and acknowledge it. Feel it. Mourn it. Then look ahead at time and dare to allow its healing potential. It’s time to grow.


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