At the original time of this writing, I’d just returned from a walk in an old cemetery. It was a beautiful evening; I was regretting not having brought my camera. The sunset was gorgeous, casting pink and orange rays across the sky, just above the mountains. It was perfect weather, with a cool, gentle breeze. There were some huge, beautiful trees. But my mind had zoned out from the surrounding beauty; my eyes were on the grave markers lined row after row, stretching on and on before me.
The dates ranged through early 1700s-mid 1900s. There were Revolutionary War vets, Civil War vets, WWII vets. There were families, uncles, aunts, sisters. But there were a few things that just made my heart ache. The engravings eroded away, lost forever. The stones sunk deep in the ground, almost out of sight, forgotten. The stones that simply read, “MOTHER”. But what got me the most, was the children.
There was a family, buried together; father, mother, and children. One child died at the age of 3, one at 3 months, and the other, unnamed, died an infant.
I thought about the pain, the loss this family must have felt. It must have been unbearable, to lose three of their children. I thought of their grief, their agony.
And they were not alone. Another family, buried together, had a 12 year old child and an 11 year old child who died. They, too, must have felt the unbelievable pain of loss.
I’ve lost people I’ve loved in death. Not many, but a few. It’s hard. It hurts, and there’s a lot of heartache and tears. You never fully recover.
But there’s a hope that we can cling to as we grieve over the death of those we love. As long as those we’ve lost are Believers, we will see them again. Death is not the end – it is the beginning. The beginning of a life free of pain, sorrow, regret, full of happiness, joy, peace, for those who believe. It is not something to be feared. We grieve because we will never again see our loved ones on this side of heaven, but we should rejoice that they are in a far better place.
It was a strange, I admit even creepy, sensation to look at the name on a grave stone and know that they were in either heaven or hell. Death sheds a whole new light on spreading the gospel. It comes so fast, so unexpectedly. You never have the assurance of tomorrow. Don’t you want to look at the name on a grave stone and know that their soul rejoices in heaven? As Believers, we have that duty to fulfill, that job to do. It is our assignment to win souls to Christ’s kingdom, before it is too late.
The thought of death may be frightening and scary. But it doesn’t have to be. Believers can have peace about life after death. Don’t you want to share that peace?