On finding out a friend has died…

Photo 155I was very saddened today to learn that one of my friends and a faithful reader of this blog had succumbed to the dreaded disease of cancer. I will miss the comments of encouragement she left for me so often.

I am aware of the seriousness of one certain type of cancer, that of the breast. I once read, “That was the thing. You never got used to it, the idea of someone being gone. Just when you think it’s reconciled, accepted, someone points it out to you, and it just hits you all over again, that is shocking.” Sarah Dessen, “The Truth About Forever”.

Hearing this news reminded me of a similar shock, I remember it well. I was in PCB for a week at the beach, and I knew that my best friend in the world for my whole life had a test the week before, a bone marrow test, to see why the pain in her shoulder would not go away. I went to the phone and made the call that proved the dread I felt in the pit of my stomach to be correct, she had cancer of the bone, which is devastating news at any age but she was so young and had two teen-aged children. She was brave, she never complained and when she came for me to put her signature red hair color on the day before her first chemo treatment we both knew that before long her hair would all be gone, it didn’t take long for that to happen. On the Easter Sunday before she died she had a vision of Jesus walking into her hospital room. He had come in through a beautiful tunnel of light. During the next fifty days, she died on Pentecost Sunday, He walked in and out and people that she had known, already gone, would come and she saw them. As I sat on her bed with her a few days before she died she asked if I could see the light and I told her no, but if she said it was there I knew it was indeed right there over my left shoulder where her gray eyes would wander and stare. She widened her eyes and spoke in a lower tone as she told me “That’s where He came from and that’s where I’m going.” I can’t write this without remembering how I felt, the feeling is not in the past, I feel it now and stinging tears are cleansing my eyes.

Not long after, another of my peers, a cousin in her early forties, died suddenly of a heart condition. With her I was not taken by surprise as I had seen it in a vision one morning before it actually happened and in the vision I saw that my aunt and my grandparents were there waiting for her.

Death is no respecter of person, young or old, rich or poor, we are all susceptible to his power. 1 Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is your sting, O grave, where is your victory? Isaiah 25: 8 “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces.”

We are all mortal, but most feel the way Woody Allen felt when he said, “I’m not afraid of death, and I just don’t want to be there when it happens!” I think more than fearing physical death we should fear the death of love in our lives, the kind of love that will not allow us to be separated from God and keeps us close to our loved ones. Romans 8:37-39 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We were given the gift of life, God meant for us to enjoy our life but thanks to Adam and Eve, it is also full of troubles along with the many joys. I am currently enjoying the mornings being a little cooler and looking forward to the changing color in the leaves, the smell of the air when I walk out on my porch, my children, grandchildren, and caring for my mother remembering all she has done for me. I am alive, I live, I’m blessed and so are you!

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