Pastor Wilcox said, "The grave is where we are all jfjmost human."
It’s so painfully true and extremely necessary. In my life time , death has never been a stranger. I remember the very first time I experienced death. It was my great-great grandmother. I loved her dearly, and she loved me.
Her love was like a big, strong fortress that kept me safe and made me feel protected. As a child, I remember being told I wouldn’t see her anymore, and I remember the sadness being like a rainy day. My desire to go outside and play didn't change because of the weather conditions outside, while standing and looking out the window, just watching the rain and wishing that it would go away so I could resume my regular play time.
The next most memorable death was our neighbor, Elderly. I remember going to the funeral and hearing the choir sing what sounded like opera to us. As a group of preteen girls, we thought it was funny to hear happy songs at a funeral. I remember seeing her in her casket. Because of my visual nature, it was hard to shake the image they lingered in my dreams for weeks. I couldn't sleep in the dark because I was afraid to close my eyes.
That was the moment when I began to fear death and funerals. Time progressed, and the next death was my godfather, Benjamin. His death, unlike the others, provoked an entirely different group of emotions and expressions. He was murdered by a stray bullet at the supermarket, and his death brought anger and the feeling of wanting revenge.
This violence remained with me for years. It was like a tight winter sweater that blocked me from feeling anything other than anger. Unfortunately, this anger defined a portion of my teenage years. The years passed, and I married and moved far from home. My new family was the beginning of our new life. As a military dependent in Germany, death reached me by phone and just when my life was beginning to look up, the winds of tragedy flipped our life boat upside down.
The sudden death of my beloved godmother took my breath away.
Like a beautiful sailboat, we were sailing into what we believe was a beautiful horizon, and out of nowhere this storm came and took our sail under. I remember feeling lost and empty. As a young adult, how could I move forward? Death had arrested my heart with hopelessness. Soon, it was as if the visits were frequent and scheduled. My grandmother-in-law, my uncle, my mother and my Daddy. Later came my mother-in-law and my father-in-law. So many significant people all gone.
Had death decided to reside with us? How could we move past the pain and emptiness? I look back on it now, and I am amazed at the strength of the human heart. Life fills it us up, and death leaves us empty.
I no longer fear death or funerals. When death came this time, I waited for it and watched it. I looked it in its face and allowed it to teach me. I enabled it to break me, and I enabled it to cover my heart with loneliness and sorrow, and now I truly see who you are Mr. Death. You are the regulator of our humanity!
Read Chapter 12: Proverbs 22:11-12King James Version (KJV)
11 He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.