It seems that since April of this year, everywhere I turn, death ups and smacks me in the face. First a member of our congregation, my brother-in-law's dad passed away. (I had the honor of doing his obituary and singing at the services).
Then I visited a church in August (around my birthday 8/15) and ran smack dab into another death. A young woman in the congregation was shot to death by her boyfriend. She was just 24 years old and left behind a 4-year-old daughter and some angry/grieving parents. A fairly young Christian herself, convicted by her recent study on "a Life of Purpose" she began making new/different choices, one of which was to break up with her boyfriend--that choice cost her her life.
Then Katrina in all it's grim, poverty stricken, political, religious, just-not-going-away glory rolled in. I was assailed with stories of dead bodies floating by and I couldn't even begin to envision myself in that situation. Eventhough I cared, and contributed, and exhorted others to do the same. A constant barrage of the same information, can create a desensitization, if you will, and I quickly approached the "enough already" zone.
So just as I was about to get comfortable, pat myself on the back for my "Christian" contribution, and get on with my life, I got to work on Monday, just past, and was greeted with the news of the death of a co-worker in a car accident. I began bawling over someone I couldn't even describe if given a million dollars. (Although for a million, I would at least make a stab at it).
So...how do you deal with death? What do you say to the family and friends of the bereaved? How do you handle your grief?
If, like me, you never know quite what to do with yourself, besides hope it will go away, the following posts might be of some help to you:
Dealing With Death - Part I
Dealing With Death - Part II
Dealing With Death - Part III
Have a blessed day all!