“Missing in Action”
Life is a gift. Our lives can be remarkable, beautiful, and incredible. Simultaneously, we can know that which is difficult, painful, and tragic. Human beings, created in the divine image, have many gifts and opportunities to connect and be in relationships with family and friends. God made our bodies magnificently, as we can think, create, and move. Such gifts of being alive and the thrill of discovering the many aspects of life and finding meaning is powerful. We are one species within the world. As such, we must be good stewards and practice ecology and ethics.
Often we have not taken the best care of our planet, and sometimes we act as if we do not have an expiration date. We sometimes behave as if we do not have an expiration date. We forget that everyone who lives will die. Life is precious, and we human beings are fragile. We need to live every day as a gift. From that perspective, we can live in love and not have regrets at the end of our lives.
Even when we accept the inevitability of death, it is hard when we lose a loved one to death. With death, life ends. Life ends in so many different ways—from natural causes when one has lived a long life to homicides, suicides, and accidental deaths. When we lose someone we love, we have all kinds of feelings and reactions. We can move from disbelief and anger to sadness and resignation. Sometimes, if the person has suffered a long time, we may have a sense of great relief. When we live loving God, neighbor, and self, we live fulfilling lives and many
While the physical body dies, physicists have shown that energy never dies. Thus, we can feel close to our loved ones, even if they have transitioned. Every death is different, for our
relationship with the departed is different. Thus we must be aware of our feelings and accept how we feel, without feeling shame or guilt, and we take healthy actions toward the grieving process. There are numerous resources, programs, therapists, and spiritual counselors who can offer assistance in helping navigate the impact of the death of a loved one.