Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thoughts on Death

There are so many happy things I could write about.  I have cute pictures to upload, weddings, engagements, and fun projects to report about.  But tonight, and all week, my mind has been thinking about death.

A few weeks ago I attended a funeral of a beautiful woman who lived a full life and died from cancer.  While I was there, I saw a dear friend, sitting in the back, crying.  This seems normal.  We were at a funeral.  The difference is that this friend, who has had a larger impact on my life than she will ever know, was approaching the anniversary of the day her own son passed away.  Whether this is true or not, I don't know, but I imagined her heart bursting as she remembered that day.  And it broke my heart.

This summer while I was in Utah and was able to get together with some friends.  We talked about our special needs kids while we ate dinner.  On the car ride home, I was able to talk to another friend who lost her son ... two?  Is it already 2 years ago?  She was so open with me as I asked her questions about her experiences after his death.  I am so grateful for her example of faith and hope and love.  And that she was willing to openly talk to me about such a sacred thing.  Our conversation has stayed with me ever since.

Tonight I read about a family who just lost their son this past week.  And oh, my heart is aching.  And I'm not even the one experiencing this all.

All of these ladies have something in common.  Among other things, they all are faithful latter-day saint women.  They have testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  They put their faith in the scriptures, in the prophets, and in the Lord.  And when there is pain like this, I'm not sure how one survives without that faith.

Before Samantha was born, I took certain things for granted.  One of those was the resurrection.  I had always been taught, and believed, that because of Jesus Christ, we would all be resurrected.  It's a free gift.  It's not dependent on our righteousness or's a gift.  I accepted that as truth.  But when Samantha was born, and when I see her physical struggles and disabilities, her seizures and cramped limbs, I am so so grateful for the resurrection.  I'm so grateful to know that all of that will be gone and replaced with a perfected body.  And that we'll be reunited.  And I'm glad my friends know all this too...because sometimes we have to cling to those truths just to make it through the day.

And all of that helps me to remember that death isn't the's a change.  a transition.  And that death is only sad for those left behind.  And that this whole mortality's pretty temporary.  And thank goodness it is because there are going to be some great reunions.

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