6/ 7/ 2012
Dora died six months after her seventy birthday after a long battle with colon cancer. She had been diagnosed a year earlier and treated with radiation. Contrary to doctor’s predictions, the tumor shrank and then disappeared. Many felt it was the answer to prayer. But several months later she began losing her appetite and her balance and falling down. The cancer returned. Dora was hospitalized and given more radiation. This time the tumors didn’t go away, and Dora slowly lost contact with her world. When nothing more could be done, she was sent home. The end came quietly a few months later.
The months following her diagnosis was hard on Dora’s family as we prayed for healing, witnessed an amazing recovery and then endured the final ordeal. From the beginning, Dora’s courage and peaceful assurance attested to her faith in God. Her children and grandchildren knew that Dora had no fear of death, and she looked forward to heaven. When the news came that “Nana” had gone to be with Jesus, her seven year-old grandson thought for a moment and asked, “So when is the celebration.” As the adult family members mourned the loss of their loved one, they were strengthened by the simple faith of a child who understood the true nature of a Christian’s death. Their sorrow was tempered with knowing that a new inhabitant of heaven had just entered into God’s glorious presence. Nevertheless, their grief was substantial and deeply felt.
Death is a natural and inevitable part of life. We encounter it whenever some important part of life is lost or taken away. It is especially powerful when someone we love dies. Though it will never be a pleasant experience, death can have positive rather than negative effect on our lives. By understanding the nature of death and learning how to manage it, we can be better equipped to cope in time of loss.
Whether you have just experienced a loss or are months removed from one, this...