Death of a loved one: Have you lost hope?

by Anonymous

My brother died last year in a car accident. He was my only sibling and a wonderful man. I had no chance to say goodbye to him. He had just had a baby and was a father to some great kids. And his birthday is today. On this day, one thing I wish to do is offer the following reflection on his behalf. It is for all of you who, like me, lost someone whom you loved and cherished.

The death of an immediate family member whom you love and cherish is a profound experience, a painful game-changer. It changes your basic understanding of life. It reveals that many "life assumptions" that you once took for granted are not safe assumptions after all. It makes painfully clear that you and your family, at least those your age or younger, will not - as you once thought - all be in this together till the end. We cannot know our futures, but can only live our lives today.

My beloved brother died young and unexpectedly. If ever there were a reason to believe in an afterlife, his death made it clear to me. (To non-religious people: I respect your concerns, but kindly hear me out.) My brother's death made clear to me that the point of an afterlife is this: To be reunited with those you love most. Life cannot just end; that view makes no sense. It may make sense biologically, but we humans are not merely biological beings. We are mental and spiritual beings as well. A loved person's biological death cannot be that person's utter end. (Does a life of familial love ended abruptly really make sense?) That view makes little sense if any, for with no afterlife there can be no re-communion with the fallen. We are not merely matter which returns to matter - we have minds and spirits too! No, I say, life must go on. It must indeed! This, at least, is the result of my heartfelt reflections over the past year.

Truly I say to you, biological death is but the beginning of new life. So have hope, all you who are hopeless, all you have endured great pain at the loss of loved ones. Have hope, I implore you! Have hope that after living an honorable earthly life - a life in honor of lives lost - you, too, shall come to share in the true joy of companionship with your fallen brother or sister, spouse, mother, or father. For we shall once again see our loved ones, but this time in a different place from the present. This is the place we call heaven.

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Mar 19, 2012
short reply
by: Anonymous

I'm so very sorry to hear about Ted and the tragedy of his passing. Life is indeed mysterious at times, and even heart-wrenching. You mentioned that Jay has been using drugs; in reply, I'll just note that my brother who passed away was a drug user (heroin, in fact). He had gotten his life together quite admirably and been clean and sober (even stopped drinking) for two years after meeting his future wife. I'd encourage Jay to go to NA/another group and see a counselor, and I'd encourage you to help him with that (though there's a good chance he already is/you already are). My prayers are with both you, and, again, I'm very sorry to hear such tragic news. Life must go on, even if never again as it did before.

Mar 18, 2012
by: rayolife

God bless you abundantly. Your words of hope and passionate encouragement lifted my spirits. I can hardly wait to share this posting with my older son Jay, age 37. My younger son, Ted, age 28 at the time (2008) had only been home several weeks from a 15 month deployment to Afghanistan, when an unlicensed commercial truck driver, repeat DUI offender, with an illegal load limit,failed to yield the right of way hitting my son in a head-on collison, his body crushed from the impact--he bled out in 3 minutes! The brothers and fiance and friends were supposed to leave right after lunch for a weeks vacation that they had planned and pre-paid for over a year before his death. Ted was a true humnitarian, the heart of a servant, loving and kind, respectful and helpful to people of all racial and economic backgrounds. he would give you the shirt off of his back.He was a volunteer fireman, went on mission trips to rebuild homes after devastating hurricanes, took food and quilts to street people.........God took the very best. Ted earned 14 awards of honor in only 4 years of active service. Our whole world exploded and dissipated before our eyes.I felt like someone had shot a cannonball through my chest and abdomen leaving a gaping hole that can never be repaired. A dagger remains in my broken heart after almost 4 years. God takes the very best. The legacy he left behind will resound forever. Two bus loads of soldiers from Ft Bragg, NC attended the memorial service, it was standing room only. He and Jay were TIGHT, they loved the outdoors, did everything together. Jay and I felt totally robbed and mad at God for allowing such a senseless tragedy to take the most wonderful person out of our lives. His fiance had already tried on dresses, we had made floral arrangements for the wedding, we were selecting paper for the wedding programs,THEN WITHOUT WARNING OUR WORLD TOTALLY STOPPED! He was a wonderful Christian man ready to meet his Maker,but WHY???? was he taken away from us in such a horrific nightmare. We did not want to live or go on without him, even knowing we would see him again on the other side.
He was our SUNSHINE, Encourager, and faithful servant. God told me "You were waiting for him to come home, now he is waiting for you to come home".I am 60 years old, and for me that day cannot come fast enough. jay has lost 30 lbs, his drug usage has increased, and I am living in constant torture and agony. I don't know how long I can endure.I know we all have an appointed time to die, but now there will be not family gatherings, no weddings, no grandchildren.....God help us all. Blessings to you

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