Since the beginning of this year, many people of all ages have died from the flu. What has been most disconcerting is the number of children and healthy adults who have died within days of contracting this particular strand of flu, which has proven to be very stubborn and has left many families devastated from the sudden death of a cherished loved one.
Even though I write bits and pieces about death and dying, and although I consider myself to have a deep faith and trust in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I sometimes have a very difficult time understanding death, the necessity and reason for death, and the trail of emotional pain death leaves, especially when a cherished loved one is snatched away, with little or no warning.
To have a son, daughter, mother, father or any loved one to die suddenly from this stubborn strand of flu is just beyond devastation. The psychological and spiritual pain is enormous. There has been a great loss in the family, and there are times when you feel as if you are in a bad dream. But life has a way of smacking us back into reality, and we are confronted with the fact, and with the pain, that our loved one has died.
I know that many people across the United States are hurting and have heavy hearts from having a loved one die from the flu. I watch the World News, and I see the beautiful faces of those who have been snatched away, prayerfully to a far better place than this earthly existence. And I see the tear-stained faces of those who are trying to grapple with the heavy weight from their loss.
In the days, weeks, and months ahead, I hope and pray that you have a shoulder to lean on, arms to hold you, and a kind hand to wipe away your tears, and someone to say, “I love you. You are not alone. We will get through this together.”
No matter how much hurt and pain we experience in this here life, I pray and trust that God’s grace, mercy, and love will get us through the tough times. I am reminded of a little piece of Scripture from Isaiah, chapter 43, verses 2-3: “When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” I hope you find a little bit of comfort from these words.