How should we as Christians approach the death of a loved one who has fallen asleep in the arms of our Lord Jesus? When I heard that my beloved grandmother had passed into glory early on May 18, 2014, I found that I was more elated than sad. She lived a long, full life and then the Lord granted her fondest wish: to pass on in her sleep. What was puzzling to me was the odd lack of sadness. We had a very close relationship. Shouldn’t I be mourning the loss? Certainly I will miss her greatly, but at the same time, I am so certain of her being with Jesus and being free of this broken, twisted world, that I can’t actually be sad at her going. She’s free! She no longer has pains. She’s seeing her Lord face-to-face. She’s whole and hale again. And I will see her again … one day. That is as certain as the sun rising in the east. It’s just a little while, a matter of sixty years at the very most.
So I hurt, but not for her; and not for me. I hurt for my mother and for my great-uncles, great-aunt and relatives there who don’t know Jesus, because they aren’t going to get to come with us, unless they believe before they die. That is something to mourn about, not my grandmother’s home-going. So I celebrate her life: its difficulties and joys, its trials and triumphs. I celebrate her freedom and wholeness at the side of Him who redeemed her. And in a way I envy her…. See you soon, Omi!
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever.” (John 11:25-26a – HCSB)