Edna St. Vincent Mellay spoke for all of the human race when she wrote a poem entitled “Surge without Music.” It is a protest again death, not her own, but the death of others, many of whom she had known and loved.

Death is always a disturbing consideration. It is like a mysterious curtain through which every person must pass, and no one knows for sure what waits on the other side. This element of mystery means that death is also frightening. The life that we are now living in these physical bodies is the only life that we have ever known. We cannot even imagine any other kind of life. Yet each of us knows that someday this physical body is going to die. And that is a frightening thought.

But the most disturbing thing about death is not its inevitable claim on us. There are ways of coping with that. The part of death that most find disturbing is that it has taken and continues to take the lives of people whom we have known and loved. They are no longer with us. We look for them in all the old familiar places. But they are not there This separation is so painful and seems so permanent. How do we respond to an experience like that?

We could become bitter and resentful. Some people do. And in the process, they poison their own souls and sabotage any possibility of recovering from the grief. We could yield to self-pity. We must allow ourselves as little of that as possible, and be done with all of it as soon as we can.

When we lose someone we love, sure there must be some better answer than bitterness and self-pity. Let us turn to Jesus and listen to what He has to tell us.

First, He says, “Have faith in God.” Faith in God must be the center of our lives. Everything must revolve around that.

The second thing that Jesus says is, “Have faith in Me.” The reason we need to do that is because our understanding of God is all wrapped up in Him. Almost everything we believe about God is something we learned from Jesus. Our faith in Jesus and our faith in God are inseparably linked. So when we lose someone we love, there is nothing we need more than faith in the One who taught us to have faith in God.

The third thing Jesus says to us is: “In my father’s house there are many dwelling places…I am going to prepare a place for you, and then I shall come back to take you with me, that where I am you also may be.” One of the impressive things about Jesus is that He never argued for immortality. His method was more convincing. He just assumed it. He tells us: Don’t be afraid, life goes on, and we will be together again. He was so sure of that.

When we lose someone we love, we can face that loss with the assurance that life goes on. They have simple moved to a higher realm and taken up life again, where they left off here. Some day we will do the same. Until that day comes, we can trust our friends and relatives to the care of God who loves us all.

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them. Amen.