Don’t let the post title fool you – you’re not about to read a mournful post about death and loss. In fact, the placement of “living” after “dying” is deliberate. When we lose someone, it’s hard to see anything except our own loss of their companionship, but beyond their death, they are living…we are living.
My grandma’s birthday was last week. If she was still alive, it would have been her 82nd birthday. Of course I thought of her and I still miss her, but I didn’t cry for her. I remembered her last birthday and how miserable she was. I thought of how she said she was ready to be with my grandpa. The recollection of the trips in and out of the hospital, and later hospice, during her last few months of life is still fresh in my mind.
For all of these reasons, I do not feel sad that she didn’t have to endure another birthday in a failing body and a mind that was no better off. I feel glad that she finally found peace and imagine that her soul has found my grandpa’s soul again. I believe that after we take our last breath, our spirit lives on. The soul isn’t sustained by our pumping hearts or oxygen, which are necessary for our physical bodies to live.
Some people choose to visit the gravesite of deceased loved ones on special occasions. I am not one of those people. To me, visiting the resting place of soulless bodies doesn’t bring me comfort. It dredges up my own sadness at the loss of the person’s earthly being.
My failure to visit an engraved marble marker on my grandma’s birthday doesn’t mean I love her any less. It just means that I love her enough to not dwell on my loss. Instead, I think of the joy she must have felt in meeting the God she honored throughout her lifetime.
Job 19:25-27 – “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I not another. How my heart yearns within me.”
Do you find comfort by visiting loved ones’ gravesites? How do you choose to remember deceased friends or family members?