Death is always an unwelcome surprise

Regardless of how prepared you may think you are for the death of someone you know, you’re probably not.

Even when it’s expected or inevitable, the news will still come as an unwelcome surprise.

A dear family friend, who struggled with health issues for many, many years, finally lost her battle yesterday. You won’t see the story posted online or read celebrity tweets surrounding her death. For she provided no influence to the sensational world we’ve all become far too obsessed with.

But for the people who knew and loved her, the loss I assure you is great.

As consolation for dealing with death, we often say “they’re in a better place”, “they no longer have to endure their suffering”. And while that does provide some comfort, you realize that the end of their life was anything but ideal.

Soulful songstress Oleta Adams penned an incredible song – sung from the viewpoint and prayers of an ailing woman whose life is nearing the end. It’s called Long and Lonely Hours.

I think of this song as I remember that dear family friend who struggled so long, even at the very end. I wonder if some of the same thoughts were swirling around her head in the days leading to her death.

I remember others I’ve lost over the years, and those I know are still struggling. I wonder if this song paints an accurate picture of what they’re feeling and perceiving as the journey continues, but they’re tired of going along for the ride.

Even when it’s expected or inevitable, the news of someone’s death will still come as an unwelcome surprise. We need to stop thinking that our time on this earth is infinite, because it’s not. Spend as much time with the people you love and cherish as you possibly can – don’t just assume you’ll always have more opportunities.

Long and Lonely Hours

In the long and lonely hours, as I bear the course of pain
I’ve been waiting for an answer, now I’m asking you again
To relieve me on my journey, from a load that’s hard to bear
Help me reach my destination, will you come and take me there

I get flowers and well wishes, with a card or sentiment
Some have written off my future, cuz my body’s so far spent
I hear whispers in the distance, from the ones who care for me
I hear sighs of great frustration, cuz they don’t have what I need

Lord can’t you hear me in my suffering, prayers of a sorrowful psalm
Father come near me, help me, love me
Don’t let me anguish too long

I have labored for a lifetime, I have struggled on my own
But I know I’m not an island, I can’t handle this alone
As I bear with my affliction, father hurry, don’t delay
Master, you’re the great physician, could you please heal me today?


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