Posted by: wordofexcellence | May 8, 2011

There is abundant peace in prayer

I seldom get distressed. God implanted in me, long ago, a confident and competent spirit that I can rely on to lead me through the diverse trials I’m faced with, and I navigate my way through life with a pretty healthy outlook.

A couple of days ago, perusing the obituaries in The Hartford Courant, I found one that was very troubling, however. Now, learning that someone has passed on from this life is typically not going to cause an emotional reaction in me, and I didn’t get all het up by this particular obituary, either.

What struck me, as I read, was a particular sadness, however. Now please allow me to explain.

The death was that of a young man, 20.  Clearly, the notice was written, with a great deal of emotion, by one of his parents – Mom, I’d have to say. It was evident that the young man’s demise was not at all expected, but rather was a shock to his parents.

This was a notably gifted young man, and the obit clearly spelled out a number of his accomplishments and feats and spoke of the ways in which he had been a gift to his family. The love that his Mom and Dad had for him is readily apparent.

This young man’s gifting was so astonishing to them, it seems, that they felt it inappropriate to conjure up any more children. Apparently, their feeling was that they’d never be able to duplicate this first success; hence, why invite disappointment?

My desire here is not to criticize any of this family’s decision-making, nor their raw emotion. I’ve been blessed in oh-so-many ways, not the least of which being that I’ve not been put in the position of dealing with the “premature” death of a loved one.

My Dad was put to eternal rest at the age of 75, and he and I had, by then, worked out all of the minimal issues we’d shared well before that. My Mom’s passing, at 88, was timed rather well, given her deteriorated mind and overall health. The most traumatic death experiences I’d faced were the losses of beloved pets – no small matter, but not quite the equivalent of losing one with whom I shared DNA.

To contemplate the loss of a loved one “before his or her time,” isn’t anything I wish to do, of course. Emotions, no doubt, would be at an extreme, and I surely do not crave any such occurrence.

I’ve noted that in order to declare that I recognize fully my inability to walk in someone else’s shoes. The loss of my darling son, Caleb, at an early age, would certainly be difficult for me to deal with. Of course, I don’t even wish to consider it at any length.

In my reading of this obituary, though, I’m considering the difficulty the couple is undergoing in trying to come to grips with the loss of their son. It’s apparent to me that they’ve never considered that his death could occur at such a young age.

Then again, do any of us give any thought to such things? It’s certainly not a topic one would ordinarily bring up at the dinner table.

Re-reading this obituary as I put pen in hand stirs, again, the emotional reaction I had at first. Here, Mom and Dad rue the fact that they’ll not be blessed to be grandparents of their son’s child(ren).

Their son was “our world.” They made the decision not to have other children so as not to “divert any of our love away from him.” They describe themselves as “shocked, heartbroken and overwhelmed with sadness.” His death is described as “something so horrific.”

The closing two lines read as follows:  “This is not the life we envisioned. Simply put, it will be hard to see the future when the brightest light is no longer shining.”

To read the obituary, one does not need to imagine the desperation in these parents’ thoughts. It’s evident from the first, intensifying with the description of a life too short.

I’m distressed a bit by the desperation, the intensity of their grief; I wonder if they’ve been in prayer lately. At times like this, prayer is essential in order to bring about healing. I’ll avow, again, that I’ve not been put in such a position and certainly don’t desire to be placed there, but having a prayer life, a Godly connection, a love affair with the God who created us, watches over us and blesses us abundantly (to wit, this child of theirs); all these are essential needs in our lives if we are to deal with times of grief and despair.

The Guestbook offered for family, friends and loved ones to leave messages for the bereaved, contains many references to prayer and the hope that these parents will take comfort in God.

It is my heartfelt desire and hope that these two grief-stricken parents will, indeed, reach out to God for solace in this time of woe. It is unimaginable to try to calculate the agony of such a loss, yet with the continuous presence of the Lord in their lives, they’ll find the peace they seek.

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