I woke this morning, Christmas Eve of all days, thinking about death and dying. Odd, but I know the reason; two of my friends have lost their parents in the last two days. Each of their parents, it seems, were ill. But, death’s arrival has still shocked both of my friends. It always seems to do that, even when it is expected. I am sad for them and grieve with them.
Death is a specter, one that although invisible, constantly hovers. I believe, and this comes from my past experience as a nurse, that one can feel death’s presence when it is close.
Both of my friends are strong in their faith. I hope belief in God and Heaven will lessen the burden that death brings as well as hasten the healing of their hurting hearts.
One of my friends was extremely close to her parent, her father, who passed away. My other friend, by her own admission, was not close to her mom who passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning. But, closeness does not seem to matter in the case of death when love is in one’s heart. When a parent dies, we hurt, we are shocked, we cry, mourn, and look for something to give us peace.
Strangely enough, it is a time of year when we are reminded of the peace that awaits us all in God’s kingdom. Time slows, if only for a day or two, while inspired music such as, O Holy Night, and O Come All Ye Faithful, play in churches and heavily decorated stained glass cathedrals all over the world. Peace is part of the promise, as is hope.
In watching the movie, “Polar Express” last night, we saw a sad young boy, known as Billy, transform as he experiences the magic of Christmas and having friends. By the end of the movie Billy is told by Santa that those among us who have friends are rich, indeed! I couldn’t agree more with the sage Santa Claus portrayed in the movie.
Rich in Faith
Rich in Family
Rich in Friends
May we all be so blessed.
It is a wonderous time of year, and although during the next few weeks the season may make it harder for my friends whose parents have recently died, my hope is that they will feel the richness of the season’s gifts that come wrapped in faith, family, and friends. For within those packages are two of the greatest gifts of all: Love and Hope.
Their parents were not claimed by death, as it might seem, but chosen to live in God’s Kingdom at the most beautiful time in the Christian Faith, the time we know as Christmas.
Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth!