Thursday, February 17, 2011

Life and death-considering what really matters

Two deaths have hit close recently. I don't ever look forward to facing the death of someone I know, or the death of a pet.  I don't like grieving.  The past couple weeks I've noticed one of my pot belly pigs not behaving normally. He's usually up and waiting for me at the gate, especially when he knows it's feeding time. One morning he didn't stir. I was concerned and kept my eye on him as I fed the other pets. Finally he got up and went to his feed dish. He drank a lot of water but not much food. Within my heart I knew I needed to speak to my neighbor and give the heads up of my observations and that I might be calling him soon to take care of things for me. This is the same neighbor whom I call to feed the animals for me if I'm out of town.  We've had the conversation since my pets are getting up in years, and I have an understanding with my neighbor that all I have to do is call him and he will do the 'good neighbor' thing for me. Then yesterday, I called and called and searched for my little pot belly pig and finally located him in the woods. At first I thought he feeling good to be rooting in the woods on a nice warm day. But a few hours later, he hadn't come out of the woods and I saw that he was in the same location, he hadn't moved.  I knew then that he had found the place he wanted to wait out his last hours. I went to him, and told him again how much I loved him. I'd already lovingly spoke to him this earlier this week making sure he knew he was very loved and I was sorry he was not feeling well.  He was set, he wouldn't budge. He was staying.  There was nothing for me to do any more, but make the call my neighbor, and pray again asking God to make Elbin's  transition quick and easy. I went to sleep. Sad, but settled, and thinking that animals seem to know when it's their time. They prepare by not eating, finding a quiet place, and it doesn't seem or appear to bother them being alone. I will remember him from the little runt to being such a loving and gentle little piggy for thirteen years. I will miss Little Elbin.

The path to your final destination is one you take alone

Photo credit: pef from

And, there were two sisters I greeted early mornings.  The sisters sometimes came to work in the same car, and sometimes in separate vehicles, but I could count of them both being so cheerful in the mornings.  One was buried last week. I got the news last week that Elaine Oliver had a brain aneurysm and died suddenly. I'm certain it was a complete surprise and shock to everyone when they heard the news, as Elaine wasn't at all overweight and probably in her early thirties. Elaine didn't live to see old age.
When a young person dies suddenly, it's a reality jolt that a breath separates us from death. There is no promise we'll see the next minute, or see the next sun set or sun rise.  Every minute of life is a blessing and gift from God and only God knows the number of days of physical life I yet have to go.

Conception and birth are our beginning and physical death is the end of this temporary life housed in flesh.  For those saved by the grace of God, which I am, my next life phase will be in a glorified body. 

I pray when it's my time, it will be an occasion to celebrate the completion of my work here, and, that my life's work will be found to be pleasing to the Lord. I yearn for that, and each day I purpose to make myself a better person where it counts the most than the day before.

Physical death completes this phase, but there is so much more after that to come because Jesus defeated death on the Cross at Calvary. Without Jesus, there's no ounce of hope for anything good after death. I'm so proud to know there's hope through Jesus for the future tomorrows. With Him, the end of this life is the beginning of an even better life.

Death is nothing to fear because of Jesus and that makes me happy.

Death can come at any minute, we never know exactly when

Photo credit: sirdouglas from

This is written in memory of Elaine Oliver.  God bless her soul.

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