Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Thoughts on Grieving

This week has been a sad one for our family. We unexpectedly lost a dear family friend. He and my husband have been friends for 18 years, and over those years he had become like family to us. He lived alone about a mile from us. He spent many a holiday meals with us. Last year when our 18 year old son was raging with rebellion, James took him him with his hope that we would 'all stay calm' and resolve our issues. He was a good friend to all of us, but especially to Jeff, he was like a big brother to him. Last Friday James called Josh while he was in Fl to make sure he was ok because he knew the tornadoes were close to where Josh was working. He told Josh, "I'll see you this weekend." (Josh was coming home Sat.) Sadly, he did see him, he saw his empty shell of a body, no smile, no manly hug, no slow southern drawl coming form his lips. James had such a tender voice, I'll miss hearing it. Every time our dogs bark I look out the window expecting James to pull up in the yard. It just doesn't seem real. Olivia said, " He was like an uncle to us." Which means lot considering we have no family close by that cares to be family.

We seem to have alot of suffering and death around us in the past few months, I wonder if it is because we are getting older?

James did not belong to a church. It was sad to listen to a man that did not even know him preach his funeral. A friend from his childhood said he was saved at age 10. He was a good man and as Josh said, "All we can do is hope that he had things right with God." I don't know the state of James' soul. I cannot bare the thought of him not being in heaven. It's one of those things you have to push out of your mind, knowing that only God knows. If he truly did belong to God he can now lay down his hammer, and rest. He was a very hard worker, much like Jeff. Oh, how I hope he is rejoicing with the Lord, perhaps sitting there basking in Christ's love and forgiveness.

Sitting in a funeral home in disbelief and with a broken heart really gives a reality check. What am I doing with my life? Am I really seeking things that will please God? Am I wasting time chasing after nothing? Do I TRULY live for and worship Jesus? When my days end, will I be filled with regrets? When I pass over to the other side will Jesus welcome me and say, "Well done"?

Right now it is hard to focus on anything. I'll miss our friend. Jeff and Josh will miss him even more.

Death and grieving forces you to examine your heart, your life. I think grieving is a good thing, painful, but good.

Here is another reality of life and death. It is sad, but it good to remember, to press on for the glory of God and not get wrapped up in things that don't really matter.

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