Oh, Death, where is thy sting? For those left behind, it is everywhere. Because of my faith, I know that my loved ones are experiencing a glory that cannot be compared to the sufferings of this present time and for that, I have joy. However, for me, it is as though I own a mansion with many rooms and each time a person is gone, it is like a room gets permanently sealed off. The light will never come back on. The windows are shuttered and we can never go back and experience the joy we felt in that room and no new memories will be made in that room. My house has lost several rooms in the past few months and it keeps getting smaller! I just cried last Monday over the loss I experienced in April and - unexpectedly - and just last Thursday, another light was permanently extinguished, another door sealed off. If I didn't know God, know Christ, this would be too much for me to withstand. I now completely understand why there are hermits, and old recluses. They cut themselves off from everyone so they don't have to experience the pain of caring for, loving, enjoying someone's presence, only to have them gone without notice. It takes a piece of your heart away.
I would love to shield my children from this. I would love to just pack my family up and take them deep into the woods so that we don't have to see anyone, so that we can be distant from them and avoid the sorrow when it comes time to lose another loved one.
I understand that God has a plan for each of us, on Earth as well as in Heaven. I know He calls people when they have fulfilled their purpose here, or when He can better use them in the spiritual realm, but why can't we still talk to them? Or at least why can't I talk to them? Why can't I send them a text message just to say, "Hey," and get a quick response back?
That's where faith comes in. It is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Because of my faith, I know that I will see them again and it will feel like we just saw each other yesterday. Because of my faith, I will take time to grieve in order to release these emotions back to God, but I will know that I will get better, that I will go on. I know that my "mansion" will continue to have more rooms sealed off, but that more rooms will also be added, perhaps even another wing or two. :-)
It stings now, but these wounds will heal with the passage of time and for that, I am grateful and will continue to have joy and peace.