#newlife #death #passingon #searchformeaning #conqueringdeath #christian #teen
“What’s the purpose of life?” You quiz yourself for the first time ever, after someone that you dearly and truly loved, has passed on into eternity. For the first time you find yourself suffering feelings of loss, and begin searching for answers to questions relating to the fundamental truths of life…
“Should I feel bad about this?” You ask, with your quizzical brow furrowed deep in thought, concerned that this spiral of thought will obliterate every possible chance of you ever meeting your maker. Well, the answer my dear friends is no, you shouldn’t feel bad…in fact, we are told to “search the scriptures”…so you are under no illusion there.
Okay, so I’m not some mystical character who knows the reasoning behind your latest loss, but I do know that for everything that happens, there is a reason behind it. The year 2012 marked a pivotal point in my life. Not metaphorically by the way, but literally. I am aware of the many conspiracy theories that were floating about, stating that that year would mark the end of the world etc…etc… -there was some crazy ideas there, I’m telling you! But in other ways, I really felt that my world was ending. It started in January of that year when my grandfather; the one who would always squeeze my hand and tell me he was proud of me…the one who made a special effort to drive 50 miles to our home, despite just how sick he was, in order to celebrate my thirteenth birthday, and the man who taught me to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation in sunsets, was diagnosed with cancer. He was given only a few weeks left to live. It broke my heart to see him getting weaker and weaker…and on the 24 February 2012, my grandfather passed on. Let’s just say I cried…I cried…and I cried. The whole family were in shock, and being the young teenager, I turned to my peers. However, I struggled to find solace in my friends, they never appeared to understand the searing pain of loss and grief I was feeling…or maybe they just didn’t let on. What made me even more upset, was that at the funeral, my best friend’s mother came to support my parents, but my friend was nowhere in sight, even though the funeral was on a Saturday. I guess these were selfish thoughts of mine…but I’m just letting you know exactly what running through my thirteen and a half year old mind.
I struggled a lot after this, and lost my self confidence…I turned from a lively, boisterous child, into a quiet mouse who couldn’t venture into public, without feeling like everyone was staring and talking about her. But then this was where it really happened, and I turned back to God, the person I had been ignoring while my life was going great. I’m sad to say, that it was only after I felt my friends had left me, that I turned back to Jesus. I began to talk to God every day, and realize that he was a more comforting best friend, than my earthly ones, as he was omnipresent. I started reading my Bible again, and trying to live my life more like Jesus would want me to.
Sadly my grandfathers death in February wasn’t the last loss to hit our doors, and in July my uncle was tragically killed in an accident. Although he was kept on life support for three days, I think that this death was possibly more traumatic. I’ll never forget seeing him lying in under a thin blanket in a draughty ward, with my aunt draped across him in tears. I was in the hospital, in the waiting room, when they turned the life support machine off. Everyone just assumed that as we were kids; death didn’t affect us…that we were emotionless. So as people were coming out of the room in tears, not one person told us what was after happening. But that was alright, we had already worked it out. I guess girls always have this sense of intuition…it’s hard to explain… like we aren’t in possession of a mystical glass ball, capable of foreseeing the future, but rather it is in our instinct…it’s our human nature. I sat there, with a lump in my throat, trying for the sake of my younger siblings, not to burst into tears. An hour later, my mother’s older sister was second last to emerge, shortly followed by our mother. She was the only person who told us that our uncle had just died. Although, I already knew the inevitable, when she told the news, and the finality of death sank in, I burst into tears, saying “What about Granny? What about my Granny??” My heart began pumping in my chest, when I thought about how my 84 year old grandmother at home alone, would take it when she heard the news. Images of another cold, lifeless body began to flood my mind, haunting me out of my spirit. “Please God, don’t take my Nanna. Protect her and strengthen her…”, I prayed.
Again, I began to feel that panging loss inside of me…but this time, things were different. Instead of a cold, frosty winter, it was a bright, warm summer, and for the first time I began to realize about the significance of God in my life. I mean, up until now, I guess I’d never really thought about death. I had encountered it at a younger age, when a young neighbour died of a brain tumor at the tender age of four…but to be honest, I never really understood the whole life after death thing…or the seriousness about accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. It was only after I reached the stormy paths, without my best friends, that I realized the importance of having Jesus in my life, and started having a personal relationship with Him.
Despite however difficult your situation may seem, or how isolated you may feel, remember that Christ offers everyone this omnipresent relationship… as the hymn goes “even when earthly pleasures may fade and fail, when fate and fears arise, know that God is always on your side”. Yes, I struggled to come to terms with death at the age of thirteen, I don’t even want to ever re-live the thoughts that plagued my mind, and entered my head at those moments, but praise be to Jesus, that by His grace, by His undeniable love, and through His amazing power, I got through it, and came out with a new best friend… One who, despite whatever the situation may be, will never let me down, but will always be right by my side, no matter what.
I love you Lord. Xx