HEAVEN CAN WAIT
One of my fraternity brothers-in-loss, whose eleven year old son, Christian, passed away suddenly from a fast moving illness five years ago, sent me this message on Jimmy’s angel date in 2017.
I see what so many go through when they try to talk to friends and family about loved ones we have lost. I sit here contemplating what to say as my eyes tear up thinking of our loss.
There have been so many moments in my journey that I wished it could all be over and I get to see my boy again in heaven. I have come to realize that my burden is shared by many and our friendship has helped me realize that. My discussions with you have helped me realize I/we are not alone. Our families need us right here on earth to remember our loved ones and take care of the family members still with us.
Heaven can wait.
I wish you and your family a day of fond memories, laughter and love!
I shared this beautiful message with my wife Hilary and it reminded her of a quote from Viktor Frankl:
To live is to suffer
To survive is to find some meaning in the suffering
As it turns out, those words are from Friederich Nietzche.
But Viktor also had some riveting thinks to say about suffering in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. If you haven’t read it, I recommend that you do.
If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.
In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice. I think this was the quote Hilary was thinking of.
The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity – even under the most difficult circumstances – to add a deeper meaning to his life. He may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal.
And of course there is this sage wisdom from our favorite poet:
Suffering is the only honest work
Jimmy Gauntt © 2007
Here’s to us survivors and all the work to be done here.
Heaven will just have to wait.