Today this was my husband’s and my way of saying goodbye; by placing a plant with the memoirs left by others. We drove back from Portland with this beautiful, tall white Poinsettia plant. It was given to us by a friend from church. We had intended giving it to my mother in law.
Thoughts of having to deal with death in our lives are not welcoming thoughts, and all of us have the tendency to place these realities as far back as possible in our minds; but the Bible teaches something very comforting: “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing…….” Ecclesiastes 9:5 NIV. “Whatsoever thy hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom” Ecclesiastes 9:10 NIV. See also 1 Corinthians 15: 51-56 and 1 Thessalonians 4 :13- 18. In these latter verses it tells us we need not be ignorant about those who die, “fall asleep”. These verses invites us to “encourage each other with these words”.
This hope given to all of us in Scripture does not indicate we should not or will not cry and be sad; instead it helps us to understand that yes, death is an enemy, but we can face it fearlessly. One day we will say “death has been swallowed up in victory”. And this is because of what Jesus has done, is doing and will do for us.
Our neighbor is resting peacefully in his grave. He cannot see us, hear us, and he no longer has any part in the sufferings of this world. God knows best. For this we are thankful. This is how we are comforted.