Between two dates – birth and death – every human life is inserted. And every person endures a period of sorrow when we lose one of our relatives. How is it possible to put up with death, to accept reality and restart living? Probably, it is not possible to find a certain «prescription», but we can offer some pieces of good advice.
For a Christian the notion of death also exists, but it is quite different: we believe that, by his sacrifice, God saved us from an annihilating death, which is nothingness. Christ is waiting to meet me when the last minutes of my earthly life are over. Therefore, everything I have now is an occasion to prepare for this encounter: I meet people, pass exams, and accomplish my vocation, in order to have things to talk about with my Creator.
A Christian knows that all people die. However, he also knows that one’s lifetime has an enormous value. A physical body is an excellent gift for accomplishing everything entrusted to us by God. That’s why it is so important to take care of our body, to safeguard it as a temple of the Holy Spirit.
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A Christian cries when they lose someone. Death is always painful, since it means parting ways. We cry even when we understand that our relative has gone to a better world. We cry as did our Master, Jesus Christ, when he learned about his friend Lazarus’s death. Our tears mean love, and they are needed as well.
However, by crying, a Christian always prays. A prayer for the one who has departed is not so much an obligation but an expression of true love. A prayer is necessary, not only for our soul but also for the departed. A prayer is capable of transforming and helping, comforting and making stronger.
A Christian believes that in every Holy Liturgy his relative, who is not seen, prays besides him. The Holy Eucharist becomes the unifying, embracing of the whole of God’s community, both visible and invisible, with God. It is for this reason that praying the Holy Liturgy is so important.
Every Christian family can be faced with some indivertible events such as accidents, sickness, or the losses of small children or young parents. Moments of despair are not so rare, but the invariable presence of God – the feeling of Jesus who sobs with me, embracing me – is what holds and brings back life. On the cross, Christ experienced all our losses and how painful they are.
Closing oneself in after an experienced trauma is what our psyche demands most, and it’s normal. Jesus, in the night preceding his crucifixion, asked God to «remove this cup» from him. Wounded with pain, we have no power to walk further. But… «not what I will, but what you will». If one abandons every step of one’s life to the Lord’s will, everything will get to its place, since nothing is impossible for God.
A Christian never says farewell, forever. Our relatives are just waiting to meet there, not here. It remains with a person to live one’s own life, which is given by God, and to live it in such a way as to be together in heaven.
Author: Tetiana Trachuk