His time on earth was lived at breakneck speed- racing motorbikes, flying planes, and driving race cars. One could most certainly say he lived life with gusto! But it all ended too soon, too abruptly as a tragic accident ended his life leaving his family devastated and in despair. Their mourning cries broke the silence as we gathered to honor his life and try to understand his death.
Gathered together in the church, the priest spoke of death and the void it leaves in the hearts of family and friends. He spoke of the grief that will come in waves as memories flood the heart and mind of those who loved this man so deeply. He encouraged tears. He acknowledged the inability to understand the whys and the what-ifs. He gave permission to grieve and to grieve deeply. Yet, he reminded us that we do not grieve as the world grieves. For we grieve with hope. Yes, we grieve the loss of our loved one here on earth. It is our loss. However, because of God's great mercy, we grieve with a hope that one day we will be reunited in eternal glory! There is a good grief!
So friends, love and love deeply. Grieve and grieve deeply. Hope and hope expectantly!
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 1 Thessalonians 4:12-14