Some very dear friends received some sad news this week, their Mom/Mother in Law has been given just a few weeks left to live.
Today as I return to this post, those same dear friends lost their Mom/Mother in Law on Friday. A wonderful woman who loved to her very core took her last earthly breath on Friday, and my heart breaks for my friends who are left to grieve and mourn.
When I first started writing this post, I had also just finished reading "One Moment, One Morning," a book in which the opening chapters feature a sudden death on a train and tells the story of three women and their reactions to the death.
At the time I wondered at the prospect of knowing ahead of time that you have a set amount of days to live versus dying suddenly. As I considered both, I couldn't help but let the pendulum swing to ponder life. The reality of death is that it is first preceded by life, and whether we know the time or day of our death or if we don't, we do know that death in the earthly sense will find us, and we should ask ourselves how we are living the life we are given.
My friends' dear Mother/Mother-in-Law was such a lovely lady and a wonderful woman of God. She had such a gentle, giving, and loving spirit. I know this woman leaves behind an amazing legacy, a legacy that lives on in her children and grandchildren's lives and even beyond that.
As my friends journey the sad road of grief, the words of English Poet John Donne come to mind. Poet Donne writes the following,
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those, whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy picture[s] be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou'rt slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke ; why swell'st thou then ?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more ; Death, thou shalt die.
Sonnet 72, "Death Be Not Proud."
Donne eloquently speaks to the hope that we have in the knowledge that death has no hold over us, death has no right to claim anything for it is but "one short sleep" and then we experience eternal life. Despite the fact that many people give death might and power it is but a mere slave, controlled by disease, accident, war, murder, and luck. In fact, death is in the only thing that dies, for once a person dies their soul lives on.
The words of John Donne's poem are true because of Jesus Christ's victory, his victory over death, and that by accepting and embracing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ we all can know that death has no power, and no might, and that we live on eternally in the arms of God.
So while I will hold my friends up in earnest prayer for their comfort and peace, I rejoice that such a dear lady has woken to spend eternity with her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. And, I will challenge myself in how I live and can only hope that when the day comes for me to wake eternally I will have lived my earthly life to the fullest.