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Thursday, January 02, 2014

Learning From Death

Today our family attended the funeral of our neighbor across the street. I recently wrote about it in a post. I took the kids with me and my wife met me there. Some believe that children should be kept protected from seeing death up-close but I am of the belief that they need to learn both from life and death. My little three-year old has been mentioning the death of our neighbor for the last few days. She knows she's dead. Today when we were there I told her if she wanted to see her and she said yes. When the time came, we approached her body and took a few minutes to observe. My little one said, "she's sleeping." "Her body is sleeping," I said to her. We have had this discussion with her about death. How the body sleeps but the person isn't there anymore (this happened at my father's funeral). I told her to say bye to her and she waved and said it.

The time came when we asked to go where her body would be laid to rest. We drove there and waited. I also explained to her about the tombstones, not to step on them out of respect (she even reminded mommy), went about reading some of the inscriptions and looked at some of the special things left on them. After waiting for a time, they brought her body in the casket. Once again, she pointed out that they were bringing her. We sat through the burial service and listened attentively. As we were driving home, she thanked me for taking her. As much as we don't like death (I don't) we learn from it.

Death always reminds me of what Jesus said in Luke 11:25: "“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live." (ESV) I am thankful that for those of us who believe in Jesus, death is not the end. It is the beginning.
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