We are as the grass that withers and dies and is forgotten.
My eighty two year old mother died last year and, at the time, I felt a great sense of loss. Mum, who had always been there, was there no longer. That sense of loss is slowly diminishing although it does occasionally well up, especially when I think back on our years and I want to talk to her about her early life or her family as we did when she was alive.
The death of a family member or a friend has always left me with a sense of wonder. It strikes me that this life is so fragile and can be so easily and sometimes so quickly extinguished.
What is even more striking to me is that the world does not stop when someone dies. Those of us who knew the one who died do pause, albeit momentarily, to attend a funeral or memorial service, but on the whole, people still carry on with their frivolous and capricious life affairs. With one breath we sympathise, even empathise, with the next we crack a joke or revel in how good the coffee is.
In short, we enjoy life in the face of death.
This raises the question: who will stop when I die? Who will mourn for me longer than a fleeting moment?
The answer is fairly obvious: probably my family and close friends. I will doubtless leave a Marcia or Mum or Nanna space in their hearts for longer than a moment, but then they will carry on enjoying their lives as they ought, as I did when my mum died and when Cameron died.
God, through David in Psalm 103:15-16, asserts that “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field, for the wind passes over it and it is gone and its place knows it no more.” This is the way we have been created: to be born, to live, to die, and to then be forgotten.
The real blessing is that this life is but for a moment in eternity. When we die in Christ, then the living really begins. The next verse shows that the Lord’s steadfast love “is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him.” We are remembered by God, not in mourning, but with a deep and abiding affection.
Live on Cam.