"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Ps. 116:15
Wanda, my sister-in-law passed away yesterday. She had suffered most of her life with bad kidneys, and had been on dialysis for some time. My wife, Judy, is broken, but does a good job of hiding the hurt. Nonetheless, the hurt is real, she loved her big sis. Her grief must be dealt with, but not now. There is a time to grieve and this is that time. Wanda's suffering is over. She did not have a quality of life any of us would choose, these past few years. She also did not have quantity, being only in her late forties.
That passage above uses the word precious. In modern vernacular the term means sweet, cute, or dear. I use it to describe the grandchildren, and it fits them perfectly. In the Hebrew, the word is yaqar, one meaning being "costly."(If you want to pronounce it, make a y sound and clear your throat) It cost God to lose a voice in the earth. When one of His own is no more down here, that is costly to us all. Yet the word has other descriptions as well. Precious is one of those words. It is also God's delight to welcome them home, to indescribable peace, joy, and sights and sounds our mortality could not contain.
As a late comer to the family, I do not share the hurt my wife is experiencing right now. Her mom and dad are full of sorrow, not expecting they may outlive a baby they held in their arms. No parent wants to deal with that. Her siblings are hurting too, as well as many family members that loved Wanda. It is very difficult to witness knowing I don't have words that would help, or they would hear. This is the fourth death this family has had to deal with in three years. All of those were way too young to die.
If Only I...
One thing I heard yesterday, before the plug was pulled was, "I'm sorry, I wanted to tell her I'm sorry." But, who isn't? We all wished maybe we had said this or that, gave her more attention, or looked in on her from time to time. Some of the family thought, "why, if they are so concerned, didn't they come and see her while she was alive?" Or this classic, "Why are they boo-hooing like they lost their best friend?"
Just love them...and yourself
Well, they are here now. They cared for her, and are sorry she has left us. Most of their grief is from their personal failure for "not being there." And to, it's only natural for families to take that attitude of where were they? You really point to shift attention away from what YOU didn't do. Just forgive yourself, forgive and love them, and remember good times with Wanda. She was a real corker, with an hilarious side seldom people are blessed to have.
This is for everyone who has lost someone dear to them.
One more little thought. Grieve now, be filled with sorrow today, for a while. But be sure to deal with that grief, get help if necessary. Nothing can rob you of peace and joy as well as living out the rest of your days remorseful, blaming yourself for what you could have done. I know of a few that have never gotten over the death of another....it is tragic, I won't explain.
Give attention to one another, express love, don't argue over meaningless issues. Let the other guy be right. Don't allow pride or bitterness rule the day, ruining your relationship. That pleases God, and gives you a host of admiring family and friends.
Que la joie guide votre voyage!
Fare-ye-well Wanda, we all will see you soon....and tell Jesus we all said hey! Never mind, I'll do that myself right now, I know you're way too busy!