Sunday, January 29, 2012

Spiritual Sunday - Life, Death and honoring a good friend

You might remember this post where I shared our good friend's situation.

Sadly, Thursday night, his valiant fight ended and he was released from his pain and allowed to move forward to the next step.

In my church we believe that death on this earth is not the end of our existence.  We believe we existed before, and we believe life goes on after we die.  We believe that with the proper ordinances, our families can be sealed together and be as a family unit for the eternities.  Yeah, I know- cool right?

It's been a crappy week.  We attempted to visit Rob last Sunday, but it was now to the point, that only family was spending time.  As it should be in my book.  When the end is near, time for chit chatting with friends is no longer the priority, but your children, grandchildren and most importantly, your spouse takes precedence.

All week, we knew that it could be at any time that Rob would pass.  Many hours were spent thinking about them, praying for them and remembering fun times together.  Dewitt's were the number one thing on our minds.  As they were on many others' as well.

Even when you know the end is coming, and someones pain will be ended, it's still hard.  Surreal.  Not right.  Not fair. Overwhelming sadness for his wife, sons and grandkids left behind.  Bottom line.  Crappy.

And then, I would luckily be included on a daily email that Debbi would send out updating everyone and I truly am amazed at her strength and outlook.  She epitomizes the kind of woman who gains power from her trials rather then allow them to beat her down. Her perspective and even her sense of humor in the past couple of days have inspired me.

Of course, as with anytime that one experiences death close to them, you reflect upon your memories with that loved one, and refine your outlook on your own life.  Death can provide so many growing experiences.  Some of them extremely painful, but growing nonetheless.

I dreamed about Rob and Debbi last night.  I dreamed that I left church after Sacrament meeting (which we had done a lot of so we could sneak a visit in) and I was helping her with writing thank you cards.  So part of me knew that Rob had passed because she was writing thank you cards for everything.  But, then Rob was right there in the room.  Teasing, and telling me to sit down on the couch and get a blanket. (one of the last times we spent with him, he kept offering me his electric blanket because I was cold)  We kept at the cards while he kept teasing Debbi and talking and telling me to sit down on the couch.
Next thing (you know how dreams are), Debbi said she needed a break and was going to The Pie for dinner (we went there as a bonco group last year).  We all started to walk out of the house and I was telling her to just shoot me an email when she got back and I would head over and help her finish. 
There were four of us as we walked out the front door of their house.  Me, Debbi, Rob and their son Brent.  My house is east of theirs so I was starting to turn that direction to walk home and Brent told us all to look at the sky and the mountains on the east. 
The sun was setting (but on the east), and the mountain was lit up with an amazing color of orange on the trees.  We then looked up at the clouds and saw fascinating cloud formations and some moving along in a rapid speed. 
We were all oohing and aahing over the cool sight when out of the corner of my eye, I saw Rob turn and get in the truck to go to dinner.  Debbi, Brent and I marveled at the scene once more and then the dream was over.

I believe dreams are dreamer specific and meant only for the one experiencing them so know that my feelings are for my own learning. 

I woke up with mixed feelings.  I wanted the dream to keep going because the sun setting was so astounding and the feeling of being with Rob, Debbi and Brent was so comfortable.  Once I got past that feeling, I started to think about what it all meant.

I'm no dream interpreter, but the message stood out very clear to me, and hopefully will garner some comfort to anyone else who may be struggling with the death of a family or friend.

Death is not the end.  It will NEVER be the end.  It's simply the next step of an eternal journey that our Spirits have been created to experience.  Our loved ones, though their physical bodies may be buried in the earth, or cremated and ashes interred, are still among us.  Their spirits are.  They are still the same personalities, and beings that they were while we knew them on earth, there is just simply a thin veil that we don't see with our eyes that separate us.  We can still feel them.  They are always near us. 
What lies ahead of us after we pass on, is simply to beautiful for words.  It's majestic wonder is something we can't even comprehend.  The brilliant colors in my dream on the mountains and in the sky are just not really describable.  So too, is the experience I believe is ours when we pass on.
The feelings of comfort is simply having the knowledge and believe of eternal life.  I don't know how one can experience death without this knowledge.  Or at least hope of it.

This I know, death is not the end.

Debbi had attached a couple of links that I have found comforting and inspiring.  If you have the time, click them and enjoy. 

The first one is from a leader in my church.  If you are not a member of my church but your interest is piqued, I can arrange for you to learn more.

This next one is a beautiful, inspiring and comforting song

This last one is the link to Rob's obituary

Now, I am the first to admit, that I don't always take the time to click the links, and if you don't, no worries.   But you are missing out on some nice inspiration.

Take the time to hug the ones you love. 
Share your love more frequently and fervently
Make relationships stronger
Forgive where you need to forgive
Come to KNOW that life does not end with death.  We can be with our loved ones forever.

Thank you to my friends the Dewitt's for allowing us to quietly observe their experience and to learn all that we have.  They are a remarkable family that has shown their true colors with this trial.  Strength, courage, unity, loyalty, faith and love.

And finally to my idol Debbi

There are no words that adequately describe my love and admiration for you.
But you already know that.

And there is always a supply of the Snapple Peach goodness!

**comments off, but if you wish to know about my church and our beliefs, email me**