I lost my little sister in 2010. She was only 56 years old. I still miss her and ache inside for the loss of her presence, her voice, her quirky humor, her irritating way of calling me out. Others have also gone on - aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, friends. There are holes in my life now. Gaping, empty places that must be filled. What am I supposed to do with the holes, the emptiness?
What does Abba say about this? He says there is a time to mourn. Since the first disobedience, grief is part and parcel of this moment we have been assigned in the time/space continuum. And there is a time to every purpose (Hebrew: desire, pleasure) under heaven. Ecclesiastes goes on to define these “desirable” things: dying, uprooting, killing, tearing down, weeping, mourning, giving up, throwing away, tearing apart, hating, war. God must be crazy, right?
Science tell us that every seven years all the cells in our bodies die. But our bodies do not die. Dying and yet not dying. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Each cell seems to pass on to the cell which replaces it the memory of the past so that the memory goes back beyond the life of the cell itself - YHVH’s plan. We would not have devised so remarkable a system of life. In fact, what we have devised (robotically) can only wear out and be replaced with new parts, nothing on the order of this amazing contradiction that life comes from dying. But our plan is not HIS plan, and who are we that we can know the mind of God?
A young couple, dear souls, whom I know more as acquaintances than close friends, birthed a baby girl that lived only hours. She was born with physical issues that stopped her ability to survive this world. The deaths I have experienced were people who lived, made choices, got sick, ran out of time. But this. How do you grieve this? My father can identify better than I, because when I lost a sister, he lost a daughter, but she had lived life and had borne her own children and even though parents are not designed to outlive their children, there was something to show for her life. YHVH’s plan does not include parents outliving children. Throughout Scripture, the pattern is for the parents to teach the children and leave them a legacy of Truth and life. What do you say when the plan doesn’t work? How do you relate unless you have been through it?
What is/was the purpose of little Hadassah’s life, or lack thereof? Some questions simply do not have answers and trite cliche comments only serve to increase the pain. We ask why and don’t get answers. Really, what explanation is there that would bring relief? I cannot imagine. Perhaps the answer is in the times of Ecclesiastes - times that we would not choose on our own, but are purposed by Yah to be recycled into new cells with bigger memory.
I hope and pray that I do not ever have to experience this kind of pain. I hope and pray that those who do can teach me something about faith and living and dying and these “desirable” things.