When "Goodbye" Comes Too Suddenly

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When "Goodbye" Comes Too Suddenly

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Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."  At one point, each person becomes alive, and there is a certain point in each of our lives that we will die.

When we are young, we rarely think about dying. We think we have our whole life in front of us with our dreams, aspirations and desires. Death appears to be a long way off.

When I grew up, I wasn’t faced with the death of a close loved one until I was an adult. Death seemed like something that happened to old people who had lived long and well.

In the past year, I’ve attended more funerals than at any point in the whole rest of my life. One of those that died was a lady who was 97; she had lived a long and full life. Then there was the retired husband of a lady in our church area. He, too, had lived a long and prosperous life. Another friend died of a heart attack; a long-time friend lost their son to cancer at the age of 44; then there was the death of a 12 year old girl who died of leukemia. That was a hard death to take. She had her whole life in front of her. Her goals and aspirations were not fulfilled.

But the death that hit me hardest was of someone that I didn’t even know. He died suddenly and unexpectedly. Why did this hit me so hard? It was because he was my age. I realized that it could have been me. It could have been my husband. I was not ready to die now. What if it was my sister or my brother? I was not ready for them to be gone either.

We all know we will die, but we do not know when that end will come for us, or for any of our loved ones. It could happen in an instant through an accident or health crisis. It would be too late to say, “Good bye” or “I love you.”

So, what should we do?

We need to take the opportunity now to tell those that we care for that we love them. Call up a distant friend and tell him or her that you were thinking of them. Write a card to a loved aunt, and tell her that you miss her. Tell mom and dad before you go to bed that you love them and appreciate all that they do for you.

We need to do that today. Don’t wait until tomorrow or next week or next month. It may be too late. Life is short, “for man also does not know his time,” (Ecclesiastes 9:12, NKJV, this and following references). Redeem the time now and stay connected to those that you love and care for. 

There is coming a time when the scripture will be fulfilled, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying,” (Revelation 21:4, emphasis added).

We won’t have to worry about saying good bye then. But until then, stay in contact with those that you love. Tell them you love them. Spend time with them. Call them. You will be glad that you did!

If you would like to learn more about what actually happens after death, please read What Happens After Death?

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  • Gayle Hoefker
    With today's many forms of instant communication, it is easier to stay in touch, but sadly, some of these forms of communication generally lend themselves to less in-depth conversations with those that we love. Phone calls and letters by e-mail afford more in-depth discussions with those that we love.
  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Thank you for this thought-provoking article! Something we can all take to heart. I wish I had talked to my father more often before he died suddenly of a heart attack 8 years ago. Long distances aren't a good enough excuse in today's world of phone and internet.
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