On Friday, October 21, 2011 Rebecca Lauren Woodruff died at the tender age of 4 years old. She was my cousin.
On Tuesday, November 1, 2011 Garnet Joan Nalley died. She was my Grandma.
And it was only a couple of months ago that I was writing about the loss of Owen Thomas Randal, who died before even taking his first breath (August 26, 2011).
Needless to say I have not stopped thinking about life and death and heaven and forever.
Some people are comforted my the adage that “death is a part of life.” But I am not…because it isn’t really true: there was no death at the beginning in The Garden and there will be no more death when Jesus comes back. Death is the opposite of life…or, as my pastor put it, an “affront” to life…and that is why it affects us so. In our gut we just know that babies shouldn’t die, bodies shouldn’t fall apart, and tragedies shouldn’t interrupt beautiful little lives.
There is so much pain in the finality of death…and yet comfort in the fact that it isn’t actually the final word at all. I believe the only comfort that can be found in the midst of these losses is the fact that it won’t always be this way. And we’ll meet the ones we lost in that Someday.
Come quickly, LORD Jesus, come.
Just as I felt when Owen died, it feels cruel that my life progresses forward and looks practically unhindered by the onslaught of devastating news. In truth, even the lives of those most intimately affected by death must figure out a new way to march on. Because life doesn’t wait. While I feel the shock wave of death very deeply, and mourn for the loss of life, I also feel I have been given so many reasons these past few months to hold my babies a little tighter, to relish in their musical giggles, and to cherish the awkward position I take up each night with one at my breast and another wrapped in my free arm.
Trust me, I have felt at least my share of guilt about the way my life marches on. But today I am choosing instead to celebrate it: to be warmed by my little rays of sunshine even while the dark clouds hover.