Experiencing life and death expectancies

Every now and then you talk with someone who has never had to endure the loss of a loved one until much later in their lives.  They may have heard of someone’s grandmother or grandfather passing through a friend at work or a elderly mother/father in their church.  But they may have grown to be an adult well into their fifties or sixties before ever experiencing someone close to them passing.

We all would hope that were the case.  That everyone that you know and love would always remain in your life through good and bad times for as long as humanly possible.  But many of us know that is not our story.  Our story is about trying to make sense of the losses in our lives while maintaining composure to continue on through the rest of the time given to us.

What makes our lives more fulfilling is sharing it with others.  To be enriched and enjoyed together. Birthday parties, anniversaries, graduations and retirement parties,  all present lasting memories to talk about for years.

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We are to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strengths and to love others as ourselves (Luke 10:27).  This keeps us in balance.  God holds us up and we can remain in fellowship with those around us because we know who we are in Him.  So that even when times get tough and we want to pull back from those we love because of hurt or disagreement, we continue to pull together to somehow make things mesh.

Recently, I began to think about how so many people manage to tredge through life after experiencing harsh battles and trials and they are able to help many people get through their pain and agony of dealing with ongoing life threatening issues that has plagued their families for years or maybe within a matter of minutes.

I had wondered how they are able to do this.  How can I turn my pain into something worthwhile to help someone else. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV) states that we can because God comforts us in our afflictions and with that we will be able to comfort others in their afflictions. It is good to know that it is possible to bring goodness to someone who is in pain because God gives us the ability to do so – even while we are going through our own struggles.

There is a purpose for those detrimental times as well as our good times.  One of the hardest parts of life and death expectancy is teetering on the fence of life and death. What I mean by that is if your family member is in a hospice you know that they are there for a reason.  Usually everything medically possible has been performed to assist them to further their lives.  

Painful as it is, you have to come to a realization that this is final unless a miracle would occur turning this entire situation around.  But you have to be prepared for the worst.  In the meantime outside of the hospice, your life is continuing.  Others are getting married, having children.  There are still birthday parties, graduations, anniversaries, and retirement parties going on – as they should.

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Life just continues to roll on. It has to.  I am reminded of a time where my mom told me to not get older.That was her way of saying that things had changed over time in her life that she clearly had no control over. Things that were increasingly manifesting to hinder her daily functions. Especially in her body and now I realize within her mind. At the same time she had the opportunity to experience being a great grandmother before her passing.  So even though she was enduring the most painful times within –  there were great things happening around her.

I never will know exactly what my mother went through.  People from her generation did not believe in complaining about their hardships they learned to work through it.  They felt that it would not change the problems by complaining to others because most people had their own issues they were working through.

As noble as that may seem, there are many of the older generation today who I have heard would not recommend that anyone keep their pain locked up inside for knowing the results of doing so. Nonetheless life will continue to have its ups and downs.  

Those hills and valleys are surely more manueverable with someone by your side to help you cope.  Sometimes you find that this help can come from those of course in your family, your close friends and those within your church community.  

There are people who have experienced painful situations that you would have no idea that they had gone through had it not been for your turn of events. God somehow works it out some way to where we have to rely on each other to overcome those trials. God should be the first place that we go for help (Psalm 121:1-2). But He uses people to administer that help hands on.