When I arrived in my mother’s hospital room on December 18, 2003, I knew time was of the essence. I made the most of it by staying at her beside, and preparing her to transition from this earthly life. I focused on releasing her and assuring her that I would be all right. I knew that was her major concern, being her only child. I could feel her sorrow, look into her eyes, and see the pain wrought from the thought of leaving me behind and naturally alone; yet knowing I would not be alone.
On December 26, 2003, she went to sleep. Her transition from this life to her new life in paradise changed my life forever. This is the greatest pain I have ever experienced. Yes, greater than childbirth.
When death’s painful arrows pierced my soul, they forced me to seek relief. I had to learn how to grieve with hope. In retrospect, I learned from the life of faith, hope and love my mother had lived before me. I remembered that for ten years she had lived with hopeful grief. This same hope brought her through two major surgeries and months of chemotherapy. This same hope empowered her to live life to the fullest in spite of her prognosis. Witnessing my mother’s faith and hope in Jesus Christ until the end assured me of her eternal life, and increased my trust in a Sovereign God. For the first time, I literally experienced the sufficiency of God’s grace in my weakness.
Experiencing the pain caused by the death of loved ones is great, but it is the hope of eternal life that makes the difference. When facing death, hope can be the bridge that makes crossing over to the other side a more peaceful process.
Three years or five years, who is to say? Only by the grace of God, the grieving process ends. Yet, for me, I still feel the pain of separation. Nevertheless, I have learned pain management through Word medication.
Destination points: Death is one of the most painful realities of life. How do believers grieve differently from nonbelievers at the death of a loved one? What place does hope has in the face of death? When does the pain of separation and the grieving process end?
Bottom line: God will comfort and strengthen his people in times of sorrow.