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Susan and I are both attending funerals within the week.

I have dealt with death and funerals more that the average, I think.  From a young boy who battled cancer most of his life, to grandparents who lived long full lives, to young mom’s with small children left behind. In 2012 I lost my best friend only a few months after my husband lost his best friend.  No matter how long someone lives, it never seems to be long enough.

Death can be a bitter foe for those of us that are left behind. The pain of loss is very real and can last a very long time.  But faith is the one healing factor that can soften sharp pains left when someone dies. I’ve noticed in observing those mourning at the loss of a loved one, those who have a clear understanding of life after this one, while they are still immensely sad, they are somehow okay. While others seem to have have an inconsolable heartache from feeling that the existence of someone who meant so much, has just ceased.  Having an understanding of the eternal truth of our existence, opens up our hearts to hope and joy in a time of sadness.

In Psalms 116:15 it says

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

While that seems like a strange statement, it seems like the Lord is grateful to have them back with Him, but also perhaps He is expressing the great peace that comes to those who die in the Lord, That they can have hope in the transition from a place of difficulty (this earth life) to a place of rest.

While in high school, I was close to my friend’s mom, who was sick in the hospital fighting cancer.  I had the chance to write a note to her, but being an awkward teenager, I didn’t know what to say, so I just didn’t say anything. Then when I found out that she died, I cried with regret, because all I really wanted to say to her was “I love you.”

That love for her, and the other’s I’ve had to let go, is why we cry, why we mourn. We love them. We’ll miss them. We wish we could still be with them.

Russell Nelson put it so beautifully when he said

The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.

(His full message found here)

Another scripture teaches us that…

Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die.” D&C 42:45

When we love someone deeply, we surely don’t want to see them go, but the hope of meeting them again, when we pass through that doorway of death, lessens the sting, and gives something to hope for.

Because I have faced the reality of death so many times throughout my life, I have come to realize, in a very real, in my face, kind of way, that death is a part of life.

We read in the scriptures…

it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness.  Alma 42:8

Our life on this earth is meant to be temporary. Life can be really hard and challenging and sad and painful at times. There have certainly been days when I have felt like I’m ready to be done with this fight. In many ways death can be a blessing.  A passing through a doorway into rest from trials and difficulties.

But I also know there are so many good things I can still contribute to this world, while I still have the pleasure of living here. With God’s grace, I have been given a certain number of days and years in which He expects me to learn and love and accomplish His mission for me.

I leave you with one more message from Russell Nelson

Meanwhile, we who tarry here have a few precious moments remaining “to prepare to meet God.”  Perpetual procrastination must yield to perceptive preparation. Today we have a little more time to bless others—time to be kinder, more compassionate, quicker to thank and slower to scold, more generous in sharing, more gracious in caring.

There is so much good we can all do in this world.  Even if just a little at a time.

While we will be mourning with others this week to show our love for the people in our lives who have passed, we will also be expressing, inwardly if not also to others, our belief in the atonement and in God’s love that will allow us to successfully pass through this life, and enjoy friendship and family relations in the eternities.   — Laura


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