From Connections: Baba and I were soul mates
The writer, who likes to ride horses and swim and is a recently certified Red Cross lifeguard, is the 16-year-old daughter of Danny L. Smith of Longview, Texas, and Suzanne Murphey of Plano. Miranda receives E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Miranda Jo Smith Murphey
PLANO, Texas--We all have to learn about life and death sometime. Bear with me if this turns out to be really depressing because, well, death can be depressing. However, it can also be something that can strengthen your relationship with God, your family and your friends.
I've found that it's how you deal with death that matters the most. Funerals, flowers, people gathering to sob their hearts out, all these things and more are for you and not the person you've lost. It's a type of healing for some people, and for others it just drives that stake farther into your heart.
Either way there are really only two things you can do. You can turn away from your family, friends and even God, hurting yourself only more in the long run, or you can turn to your family, friends and God for help.
Death is never a good thing, but if dealt with the right way good things can come from it. If you turn to your family it can make your family stronger. If you turn to God it can make your relationship with Him better than ever, because no matter what happens He will always be there. Ask Him to be with you and He will give you a well of strength that can get you through anything that life throws at you.
Believe me, I know that in a time of bereavement you don't know if you can bear to go on. But I also know that no matter how you feel life does go on.
On Dec. 16, 1999, my great-grandmother, Lelva Creighton Curington Womack, or Baba to her family, died unexpectedly. She had just celebrated her 100th birthday in October and appeared on the front page of The Journal in the Oct. 25 issue.
Baba and I were soul mates. She was the love of my life. She was fun, youthful and gracious, with a heart and soul of pure gold. We spent our last day together in our usual fashion reading and watching TV together in her bedroom. Her hospital bed was great for cranking up her head and knees for all-day comfort with a good book.
She took ill just as I was leaving to have surgery the next day. Had I known she would be gone from this life in 48 hours, I never would have left her side.
But that's just it: We don't know, and we can't predict, what will happen. In the long run I think that it's better that way. If God let us know what was ahead of us, we'd never have the strength to endure it. Her death is just about the most hurt and pain and sorrow I have ever felt.
This doesn't have to apply only to death, though. There are things in life that are much like a death without someone actually dying. There are divorces, illnesses and so many other things that kill a part of your life. God will close doors on your life, but He will open new ones at the same time.
If you find that you have diabetes, you won't have a life like you did before. You may have to eat only certain things, take daily insulin shots and count how many grams of sugar are in everything you eat. You won't have your old life back, but you can have a new life.
By not being able to do and have all of these things, you may learn a bit about what so many other people go through every day, including people who weren't as lucky and who were born with cerebral palsy, or a baby who was born HIV positive because its mother did drugs, or some who at so young an age are fighting cancer.
Sometimes you fail to realize just how many people are fighting for their lives. By having to jump over hurdles we are reminded how very precious and fragile life is.
There is plenty of death in the world, but it doesn't have to be for nothing. By your choices and actions you can make your loved ones' deaths mean something in your relationship to God and family. If someone you love dies, turn to your family and to God to cry. See someone and talk about funny things they did.
I hope what I have written here can help even one person deal with what he is going through.
© The Journal: News of the Churches of God