Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Sting of Death

Yesterday morning David, my brother John and I went out to the cemetery to look at memorial stones. It made me stop and think: How many funerals have I conducted? As we walked around, I saw several graves of those whose services I have had a part in just since I have been in Decatur.

And then I thought of the grief. The grief those families experienced as they journeyed through the passing of a loved one. Grief that, too often, I have naively assumed passed after a couple of weeks. After all, I mourned when my dad died. And I mourned when Beverly's dad died. But I have never known grief. Not like this.

Since Jenny's death, I have heard about a teen who died in a ski accident. And a young woman who died in a car crash. Yesterday I stood at the grave of a 17-year old girl who died a couple of years ago in a car crash while on her way to school one morning. And there was the 32-year old man who ran a half-marathon Sunday, got to the finish line and high-fived his friend, and fell over. He died minuted later. He left a wife and two kids.

In the past, I would have thought for a moment about those young lives taken. While I did that in these situations, too -- immediately my thoughts went to the families. Oh, what grief!

Paul asked, "O death, where is your sting?" I can tell him. It is piercing the hearts of people who loose a loved one. Oh, I know that through Jesus, the sting has been ultimately removed. But it sure feels like a swarm of killer bees right now.


Missy's Mind said...

You are an amazing man Mr. Ross.

You and your wife, many years ago spoke words of encouragement to me, pulled me out of the depths of despair, and unknowingly saved my life. I pray for you both every day that God will love you and embrace your pain and carry it away the way he did mine so many years ago.

You have blessed so many and don't even know it, you and Beverly both have. May you find peace and comfort in the fact that so many are lifting you both and David and Malaya up in prayer.

(Sean Maness's little sister)

Anonymous said...

My heart still aches for you and the rest of your family. I did not have the honor of knowing Jenny personally. But I followed her story, and prayed many prayers for her. I have taken it upon myself to read her blog, from the beginning and what joy she has brought me. To know her struggles and her daily thoughts, she has ministered to me as a mother, wife and daughter. Oh how she loved yall. And she has a way with words. You were her hero, and what an honor you must feel to know she felt that way about you. You and your wife raised such a fun-loving young woman, who's life touched so many people, during and even after. I just keep thinking, this too shall pass..

Lauren said...

I don't even begin to understand the depths of grief you and Beverly and your family are walking through in this season, friend! I figure I can call you friend since I have constantly brought you before our King. Yesterday I was reading in 1 Peter 3:1-4:12 and I was struck at how much hope I have in Jesus. Jenny now knows the reward and fulfillment of that hope. I just cannot comprehend life without Christ. My mind can't wrap around it.

Know that through this season of dark grief and intense pain and longing, God is working, He is being honored by your choices in this time, and His love for you is so complete and it stands ready to receive you when you feel depleted and all used up. Continue to contend for time to press into the heart of God. He loves you, Rick and so do I.

Jeff said...

I love you and continue to lift your family up in prayer.