There's no question about it - death stinks. My mom used to say that and I always thought it was kind of a weird thing to say but as I get older, and I experience death around me more and more, I fully, 100% agree with her.
Last week, we got notice that a girl who had been in our youth group, and who's parents we know well had an aneurysm and was in having brain surgery. After the surgery, she ended up having a series of strokes and as of Thursday, she was brain dead. They tested her again on Friday and it was positive - she was brain dead. Her wake started this afternoon.
I went up to the church early to help set up and the funeral home directors were there with the young woman's body, a ton of flowers, things from the family, etc. I helped to get things set up, set out tissues, water, cups at the water fountain, made sure the nurseries were open, etc. to ease the time for the family in the only way I could. My love language and my spiritual gift is service - I NEED to do these things to feel like I've done something.
Then the parents came and they spent time with their daughter. It broke my heart to see mom weeping over her daughter and dad holding mom up. After a time, I went in to see them and dad took one look at me and just broke down. How do I comfort a large construction worker who just lost his 22 year old baby daughter? I just hugged him and cried with him. I then went to mom and hugged and cried with her - wishing I could take even half of the agony they're feeling to ease their burden but I can't.
I left for the evening - leaving everything in other's capable hands. I will be there all day tomorrow and my husband asked that I not stay tonight as much as I wanted to. Tonight there will most likely be hundreds come through the doors of the church. This young woman was popular both at high school and college - and is still friends with the vast majority of her elementary school friends. Many lives were touched by her.
My prayer in all of this pain is that many, MANY come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Souls saved will ease the pain of losing this dear young woman. We know we will see her again yet there are many who will not ever see her in this life or the next. We mourn in a different way than the world because we have hope. We know the Savior and that we have eternal life after this life. But so many who will come tonight do not know Jesus. So my prayer is that they will meet Him tonight and tomorrow in a way that will secure THEIR future with the King.