Life does not stop because of tragedy. The sun rises and sets and what happened yesterday won't happen today. You don't forget, but you can't relive. Each day, each hour, each moment is here but for a breath and then it ceases to be. That is why each one should be held so very special.
Today, I buried a friend. I wish for anything that it could be undone...but life...is transient. Life, is a vagabond and it moves from you after a while. Sometimes, it seems like the years it stayed were too short...others, they enjoy its company ages beyond expectation. When life moves on, some people mourn, some accept it, others grow angry at its parting, some question "why?" The undeniable thing is that it comes to us all and it leaves us all...and the ones we love. Personally, as a Christian, I see life as something far more infinite than the few years we spend on this earth. Life does not end, it simply changes form...we cast off these jars of clay and put on our immortality. I believe my friend knew where his hope was placed. I believe that as of the moment he slipped from this mortal coil, he was standing in the presence of the Lord of all Creation. I believe that I will see him again, see his smile, and hear his laugh. I believe in what Psalm 30 verse 5 tells us that "...Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy Comes in the Morning." That night may last a long time, but how much more glorious the sunrise will be.
At the funeral today, my best friend spoke...as she knew him better than anyone else. She told of how he had hurt, of the things he'd endured in this life and how we would all love him and miss him. She spoke of his laughter, his smile, and his kind and caring heart. The words she spoke were not those of bitterness or despair, they were words of hope...words of a promise. "Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing."-Isaiah 40:29 "...not one of them is missing." how much more do we matter to God than the stars? Infinitely more...infinitely more.
I choose to believe that each day is a gift. I will mourn, I will grieve, as it is just as much a part of the human condition as joy, laughter, and love. How would we know the heights of one without the depths of the other? I hope that each of you will see life in the same fashion. Call your mom or your dad, your sister or brother, that friend you haven't spoken to in years. Help a stranger in need. Spend a day out in the creation taking it all in instead of passing it by on your way to the office. Let someone know that they matter...even the smallest gesture can mean the world. Live each moment as if it is on loan. So in closing, I will leave you with this, a friend gave me a bracelet inscribed with a message, the day he passed, I saw it gleaming in my jewelry box. I felt that the inscription held a new timeliness: "...live well...love much...and laugh often..." God bless you my friend. I love you. I will miss you. Goodbye.