When "Goodbye" Comes Too Suddenly

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When "Goodbye" Comes Too Suddenly

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Benjamin Franklin said that "in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." For every person there is a point of first coming to life, and there is a certain point in which, barring Jesus Christ's return in the near future, we will die.

When we're young, we rarely think about dying. We imagine a long life in front of us with time for our dreams, aspirations and desires. Death seems a long way off.

I myself never faced the death of a close loved one until I was an adult. So while growing up, death seemed like something that happened to old people who had lived long and well.

But now I've been to many funerals. And the recent death of someone I didn't even know hit me hard. He died suddenly and unexpectedly. Why did this death impact me? Because he was my age. I realized that it could have been me. It could have been my husband. I'm not ready to die now, just as you likely are not. Or what if it was my sister or my brother? I'm not ready for them to be gone either.

We all know that our physical lives will end, 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 in that case be too late to say "Goodbye" or "I love you."

So, what should we do?

Take the opportunity now to tell the ones you care about that you love them. Call up a distant friend and say that you're thinking of him or her. 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.

Do it 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," as Ecclesiastes 9:12 tells us. Redeem the time now and stay connected to those 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).

We won't have to worry about saying goodbye then. But until then, stay in contact with those you love. Tell them you love them. Spend time with them. Call them. Send them a note. You'll be glad you did!