On Sunday, May 29th, my Dad went to be with the Lord Jesus. It was a very peaceful passing after a weekend of amazing decline. Friday, he was conversant, lucid, and had no real change from the past couple of weeks. By Saturday, he could barely acknowledge your presence. We did manage to get a couple of “I love you” and an acknowledgement of our daughter Emily’s presence out of him Saturday early afternoon, but by Saturday evening, he was non-responsive. His ongoing battles with pneumonia and other infections finally was coming to a close.
I mourn the loss of my Dad, as I have written about his great love for all of us, and of our love for him in previous posts. Dad was my hero, and the example I looked to so I could try to be a good husband and father. I miss him terribly already, and I know that I will miss him every day of my life, just as I miss my Mom (and have every day for nearly 23 years).
However, I do not mourn like those who have no hope. I have what I call an “uncommon grief.” I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Dad is in the presence of my Lord Jesus. I know that for the first time in nearly 23 years, Dad and Mom are reunited. I take GREAT solace in that knowledge.
As a follower of Christ, and a firm believer in God’s Word, I take comfort from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
Because I believe that Jesus died and rose again, I believe that I will be reunited with my parents again some day. How could I possibly be sad about that? I would not want my parents to be back here where I am, in this world filled with pain, cancer, pneumonia, etc. I absolutely look forward to being where they are in my perfect body (no more GERD, diabetes, etc. oh yeah!) with them in their perfect bodies. I look forward to that day.
No, my grief is greatly tempered by the fact that Jesus has risen from the dead. My grief is uncommon in that while I am sad for my loss, I am overjoyed for the fact that Dad has already heard the Creator of the Universe say, “well done good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest.”
Thanks for your continued prayers for my family as we deal with the “business” of closing Dad’s earthly affairs (just getting started with death certificates, bank accounts, etc.).
Let me also give a big shout out of thanks to the staff at Palm Garden of Vero Beach. They are family to me. The love with which they took care of my Dad over the past three years made this stage of his life better than we could ever have hoped. My family at Vero Christian Church continues to pour out their love on us. I am, without a doubt, the most blessed man on this planet. The tears in my eyes these days are as much tears of joy at the love being shown to us as they are tears of sadness at my separation from my Dad.