Mar 10, 2021 08:00am
How is it Possible that Death Means Life?

Losing someone can be emotionally devastating.

A wide chasm of emotions can erupt when you get that phone call, or text, or when you say goodbye for the last time.

Grief is not easy. The textbook Intro to Psychology breaks it down into five steps:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But it can be messier than that.

The first time I saw grief, and not just in the movies like Revenge of the Sith when Anakin Skywalker lost Padme, was over 15 years ago.

My Uncle Sarge, who was currently serving in the military, ended his own life.

Fifteen years later, I still remember his funeral vividly.
The flag folded in his honor and Taps being played.
Grief-wracked sobs from the family he left behind. The graveyard where my grandfather was recently buried next to his son, Uncle Sarge.

That day continues to echo in my memory as the grief of others can only be described as pain.
The first time I experienced grief for myself was in college – when I lost a friend suddenly in a car accident.

This was different than when my great-grandmother passed away at 99 when I was in high school. She was celebrating finally going home to Jesus when stage four cancer erupted suddenly within her body, and in less than two weeks she was gone from the earth.

Her funeral was a celebration of life – I was the only one wearing black.

But when a mutual friend messaged me at nine o’clock in the evening that our friend had passed away, I was shocked.

I drove home from school weeping, confused, trying to understand why. My husband now, boyfriend then, attended his funeral with me. I cried a good long while after the service ended. And every now and then, his favorite song comes on the radio or something seemingly random will remind me of him.

Then last week, I got another call: My grandfather had passed away. It had been over a year since I had seen him due to COVID-19; not long ago, he had attended my wedding reception.

I called my husband who was at the local coffee shop day trading and he came home to be present with me.

I called a friend as well and she helped me process everything emotionally and just listened.

His funeral was on a Sunday. Plane tickets have been bought, bags packed, and prayers prayed.

He’s home now, too.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 says, “Death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.”

And yet Paul wrote this bizarre way of looking at the world: “To live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

For as a Christian, Paul believed death wasn’t the end – it was the beginning of a new life in heaven.

To live is Christ – to suffer, to lose, to encounter trials, and to love those around us.

To die is gain – to be rewarded for all the trials and troubles, and to spend eternity in the presence of a loving father.

And when we say goodbye to a fellow brother in Christ, it is not “goodbye” but “until I see you again.”

There is a time for everything in this life: a time to be born, and a time to die. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

And in those times of weeping and in darkness, the Bible says to seek out the light. Don’t be alone. Reach out to those who want to help or be there to listen.

I know this might sound cliché, but God is always there for you. And he’s a pretty great listener.

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, don’t be alone. Find comfort in friends or family and peace with God.

In love and truth,

Copyright © 2021 by Melody Turner @ No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from