At the moment, I would rather be napping because I am tired of crying.  But I am writing.  With a pot of tea heating up on the stove.  It is definitely Fall outside, with trees changing colors.  It’s still warm enough to not wear a coat but it is getting colder by the day.

This morning I found out a man (49 years old) I knew died.  I had one conversation with him a few months ago.  He told me how the first girl he ever liked was a red head.  I told him who I was and where I came from and we had a wonderful talk.  He was very kind, generous, and TALL.  He loved God, his family, and his church.  In my limited knowledge of him, I know he was great and loved by many.

I cry as I write this for I don’t think we would have talked about my red hair if we had known he had only 6 months to live.  I cry as I think about his wife, his kids, and his grandkids and the many many people in this area who loved him.  The last time I saw him was this past Friday morning on the front row at a conference.  He looked great.  He looked the same as usual.  Strong, confident, joyful.

It’s amazing that no matter what culture, what religion, what nationality, what country you are from, we all agree on one thing.  Death will take us all at some time.  You will die.  Muslims believe this.  Mormons believe this.  Buddhists believe this.  You believe this.  I believe this.  The body we have at the moment will not last forever.  Now, we start to differ in our beliefs about what happens after death.  But Death will happen no matter who you are, how much money you have, where you are from.  Whether your name is Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, Mother Theresa, Chris Farley, or Aaron Haskins, you will die.  Even Jesus died.

Working as a nurse, I have seen death, heard of deaths, been with death many many times.  I was in the room with an elderly woman as she breathed her last breaths at 2:00AM in the morning.  No family.  No one else.  Me and her.  I have watched someone die by watching the heart monitor outside their door.  This lady was surrounded by family who spoke no English.  They had asked me earlier in my shift what was going on with her.  I tried to say, delicately, that all the signs (not eating, not urinating, not talking, not waking up) pointed to the fact that she was dying.  And she did. 2 hours later.  One man I took care of, had family that was there around the clock, but since they knew I would be taking care of him that night, they all left to get some rest.  He lived through the night.  A young man with liver failure because he drank too much.  An hour after my shift ended, he died.  His mom got there just in time to say good bye.

Last year, the first boy I ever liked (when I was 4 years old), committed suicide while in prison.  When I was in 6th grade, a boy in my class accidentally hung himself.  Death happens.  To the young.  To the old.  To the good.  To the bad.  And yet, we tend to not think about it.  It’s coming.  Sooner for some.  Later for others.  We push it away.  We don’t want to think about it.  As if that will make it not happen.

Make every moment count.  For tomorrow may not come for someone close to you.  As a Christian, death is not an end but a beginning.  Living is wonderful and I want to live a long life.  But death means being with the One who loves me more than anyone.  There is tension between this but it is tension that is inevitable.  “To die is gain”.  Only a Christian would say something like that.  Death?  A Gain?  Are you sick?  Death sucks.  It’s awful.  It’s tragic.  Even when the person is 90 years old.  It’s a loss.  And losing sucks.  But we all die.

Christians do not die without hope.  Christians die believing there is more to this life than meets the eye.  Christians die knowing the best is yet to come.  We cry.  We mourn.  We grieve.  But not without peace. Peace that God is good, He knows what is going on.  Peace that our best days are yet to come.

Peace that on the other side of Death is life like none of us have ever known.

And now I think I will take a nap to give my wet, sad eyes a break.