We are too young to buy caskets.

We are too young to buy caskets. We are too young to buy urns or burial plots or headstones.

We will always be too young. It doesn’t matter how old we are. We are too much alive to consider death until it strikes us where we live. Though it has been the fate of mankind for century upon century, it is always, somehow, a surprise.

We comfort ourselves and our loss by saying that the deceased is somewhere better, somewhere beyond pain and grief. We wish that we could be there with them beyond such human experiences, but that’s not how this works. We are bound up with the passage of time. And time is the double-edged sword that takes our loved ones then heals the wound.

Or maybe not heals, because scar tissue is never the same, but it covers. And having had to buy a casket already, I can tell you that it does cover.

smith_famMy heart goes out to Eric Smith, a friend and former classmate who lost his wife, Bev, and their unborn baby girl, Grace, in a tragic car accident on February 14th, 2015.

I graduated high school with Bev and Eric. Bev was the sweet, smart, smiling-girl who brightened any room she walked into. Eric was the loping, good-natured guy who was not nearly as good-looking or smart as Bev. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who wondered how he got to be with her. But when I look at my wife and myself, I know that other people are asking the same question.

But the question on people’s minds now is more likely to be, “How can this happen?” How is it possible or fair or just or okay for good people–parents, children, siblings, friends, co-workers–to die in the prime of life? How is it right for death to take even babies who haven’t even experienced life?

Contrary to many trite greeting cards or well-meaning Scripture-quoting strangers, it isn’t right or good or fair. There are no easy answers to questions like these. If there is comfort to be had in times of loss, it is that the separation is not permanent. The tricky part is in not separating ourselves from the living, from those who love us, in our grief.

I can’t imagine what it is like to lose a wife and the mom of my kids. I’m not going to try. What I am going to do is pray for Eric, pray for his two kids, for his and Bev’s extended family, and join in the grieving myself. Now isn’t the time to be chipper about God’s goodness. Now is the time to know that even God experienced death and loss. And because of that, we can have hope.

We are still too young for all of this, and none of it is right. All we can do is love while time does its job of moving on.

If you are interested in learning more about Bev or contributing to the memorial fund in her honor, details can be found in her obituary.

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8 responses to “We are too young to buy caskets.

  1. Thank you for this article, it is so accurate. Also thank you for the prayers, i need them and they are helping immensely. You mentioned in the article that even God himself experienced death and loss. It gives me chills to think about it; that he would knowingly put himself through the turmoil caused by the death of his son Jesus. I could say God’s giref of losing his son wasnt the same as mine because he knew his son would be in heaven after it was all done. But Bev believed in Jesus and her need for forgiveness from sin. She believed that what Jesus did on the cross reconciled her sin debt and paid her way to heaven. So thank you God for sending your son to Die. Because you did Bev and Jesus can both be in heaven right now.

  2. Pingback: Buying Books to Help Children Grieve & Showing a Faith Worth Following | Josh Mosey | Writer·

  3. While I agree with the sentiment sadly experience has taught me to be more practical, I have watched friends deal with the death of children and grandchildren but one of the hardest was a friend whose mum died at the age of 38, My friend at twenty suddenly had to take on bringing up her younger siblings, one of the hardest thing for her to deal with was it was a conversation never had, so while trying to grieve and work out what she wanted she had every relative telling her what her mum would have wanted and arguing amongst each other generally making everything much harder for her. I made a point of telling my daughter when she became old enough that she would have the most input after my passing what I wanted and then a few years ago when I was facing a potentially life threatening surgery I wrote it all down. I also wrote letters for both my kids, obviously I survived and destroyed those letters but instead I began a personal tradition of each year at new year sitting down and writing a letter to each of my kids including photos, tickets from places we visited etc, I hope that there will be a huge pile for both of them to open before they have to (I also wish I had thought of it earlier when they were born) but my hope is that at a time they are struggling with grief I will leave behind something to remind them of the good times and make them both smile and know how much they were loved and how proud I am of them both

  4. Pingback: The world still doesn’t need another blog. | Josh Mosey | Writer·

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