Friday, July 23, 2010

Thinking About Life and Death Again.

"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.

One of the blessings of the gospel is the knowledge that when the curtain of death signals the end of our mortal lives, life will continue on the other side of the veil. There we will be given new opportunities. Not even death can take from us the eternal blessings promised by a loving Heavenly Father."

~Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Photo taken by me at Thanksgiving Point's Tulip Festival, April 2006.

This week has been another week that seems to have been filled with death. About six months ago, I felt the same way.

Bunny Bradley, a woman I did not know, died as a result of being hit by a truck, which careened into her bike group on Wednesday, July 14th, after having collided with another vehicle. She was 29 and left behind two baby girls.

My friend's sister, Rebekah, died in a car accident on Thursday, July 15th. She was 38. I sang at her funeral this Thursday.

Tiffany, a little girl who used to be in my Primary and who was also our neighbor, drowned on Sunday, July 18th in a friend's swimming pool. She was six years old. Would be turning seven in August.

I think about death a lot. I don't know why. I guess it helps to have two morticians in the family. We speak of death, bodies, embalming, and organ donation pretty freely.

Although I believe that our spirits live on after our bodies die and that there is life after this, I think I still fear death to some extent. It's not something I want to experience right now. Not for me or my family. Also, my emotions are so close to the surface when I hear of someone who is young and still, seemingly, has a lot of life yet to live. I suppose I believe that no one is taken before "their time", but what does that really mean?

I believe, strongly, that our life goes on after this one. I believe in heaven. I believe in resurrection. I believe in a merciful, loving God. I believe there is a plan to all of this. I simply cannot believe that there isn't a "bigger picture" than the one I can see. There is. And yet, I still am not fully comfortable with death. It seems the older I get, the more difficult it is for me to hear about tragic deaths, especially ones that seem to be so painful and gruesome, physically, for the one who is dying and emotionally, for those who are left behind. Call me sentimental, but that's how I feel.

I'm sad for these families. Sad that they have to continue in this life without their loved ones. But I found it interesting, at Rebekah's funeral, her mother and a few of her siblings expressed their sorrow, but pointed out that it was their sorrow and that they had had strong, distinct impressions that Rebekah was happy.

I hope they are happy and that we, who are left behind, can have some peace at that thought.


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