To Those Who Mourn | Robert Collie

My father died some years ago of cancer. I remember seeing him a couple of days before he died. He was very tired and weak. On the way home I called on a friend. He asked me how my father was. I started to speak, but couldn't. I broke down and sobbed uncontrollably for some time. I was losing my father.

I hope what follows will be of some help and comfort to you.

Everyone Is Important
Everyone is important but our family and friends are especially so because we know them and love them. They are a part of us. To lose a relative or friend is one of the great sorrows of our life. The closer they are, the greater the loss and sadness when they die. It can take a long time to adjust. In fact, we never really get over the loss of someone very close.

The sympathy and help of relatives and friends can be a very great comfort during this time. May we offer our sympathy to you.

It Is Important To Mourn
Often people will say how strong and brave we are not to show our emotions. We don't want to make a display of ourselves, but it is very important to express our feelings freely. It will help us to adjust in a much healthier way. If we want to cry we should feel free to do so. It is natural and much wiser that to bottle up our emotions as many people try to do. If we hold in our deep feelings, we can have serious emotional problems later.

Death Is A Great Mystery
So is suffering. There is so much suffering and death in the world around us, but it passes over us until it happens to someone we know. Then it can raise all sorts of feelings in us. Disbelief that such a thing could happen to someone so close. Anger when a husband or a wife or a child dies. Guilt that somehow we could and should have done more for the person while they were alive. Relief when someone dies who has suffered for a long time. Loneliness at the great hole left in out life. We need time to work through all these emotions. We also need the help of God.

God's Gift Of Life
Life is a gift from God, so it must be good. It is a gift to be enjoyed. It is also to be used and developed. We should thank God for life and all the opportunities to love and care for other people. Life can also be short, unpredictable and vary greatly between people. In this life we had no choice in our birth or its circumstances.

God's Best Gift
It is quite different with God's best gift - the gift of Life with God which Jesus Christ came to give us. With this gift we have a very real choice. It is a very special gift. It is for now and forever. The wonderful thing is that it is free. Free for everyone whether we are good or bad. This is so because in God's eyes none of us are good enough. We cannot earn it as a reward for living a good life as so many people think.

It is free to us, but it cost God the death of his son, Jesus Christ. He did it out of love for us. Jesus Christ died to pay for our wrongs so that God could forgive us. He knows what suffering and death are all about. He can really understand and help us in our sorrow.

It Can Be Ours
Life with God is a gift. It can be ours if we really want it. We can have it very simply.

God says that we must put our trust in the goodness of Jesus Christ to us, not in our good living. He came to earth to die for us even when we went wrong and disobeyed him.

We must turn back to God to love and obey him out of joy for what he has done for us.

This gift would have to be the most wonderful ever offered to us. This is God's answer to all our needs, especially our need for forgiveness and to belong to God's people. This is God's answer to our need for comfort and hope at this time.

May God bless you in your life.

Jesus said ... "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, even though he dies, will live; and whoever lived and believes in me will never die."

~ John 11:25-26

by Robert Collie 1985

This tract published by the Anglican Information Office
St Andrews House Sydney Square NSW 2000

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