This week a longtime friend died suddenly. He suffered a massive heart attack and was
taken to a hospital. He never recovered
from the trauma of that event and eventually died a few days ago. His death shocked many of us who knew this
vibrant, God-honoring man.
Jan and I also knew his lovely wife. As young couples, the
four of us studied for the ministry together thirty-five years ago. I know this
couple had a strong and loving marriage. Just from watching how they cared for
each other, I know they talked about the big subjects of life – the life and
death stuff. I don’t think they needed
to say anything more to each other. Their relationship was a daily affirmation of their love for God and for
Not all people have this kind of relationship with their friends
and family. While we are still trying to
get up the courage to tell each other how we really feel, death can visit our
lives – suddenly. Death can be like a rude thief that takes people quickly, prematurely
and without warning. This quickness
leaves people wishing they could have said, “I love you”, just one more
time. Maybe attached to the “I love you”
would be words that conveyed why a person is loved and their thankfulness to
God for giving them a life together.
What would happen to a relationship if we said our last
good-bye before one of us actually left this world? Maybe the special person you love would feel
uncomfortable discussing the subject of death. Many times we ignore what we are
afraid of hoping it will go away. These
stark realities of life will never go away.
Have you noticed that our uncomfortable feelings disappear
when we stand over the casket of someone we love? All of us wish we could have said more to
express our love. Your gift of a last good-bye now, before the final good-bye
takes place, would remove the sorrow that will come from words not spoken.
Even if you have a healthy marriage or a healthy
relationship with a child, parent or friend, maybe one day soon you would start
a different kind of conversation. As you
share your love and appreciation for this person, and what a blessing they have
been in your life, you will be releasing an echo of love that will come back
someday in the future when they are in grief. That echo will become a last good-bye that will visit them in their place
of sorrow and release the supernatural peace of God.