Death Is Not the End of the Story
No other world religion makes such a bold claim about the afterlife: …I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
The beautiful mystery that when our physical bodies cease to exist - a new life - the fullness of life truly begins. While it is something we will never understand this side of Heaven, we have such a hopeful promise in what awaits us in the next life.
In the months leading up to January 2021, our family was living this very reality as we walked with and cared for my dad from this life into the next. While I have experienced the death of people I loved, my grandparents and favorite aunt, I was not prepared for all I would learn and experience in watching my dad die.
In the last few months of my dad’s life, we watched his body fail him. Helpless, we cared for him the best we could, each taking shifts to care and be with him so my mom could continue to work.
I remember one particular December afternoon, it was about a month before he died. Restless from his pain, he asked me to turn on soft praise/worship music to help him relax so he could try and take a nap. I handed him his rosary which was always within an arm’s length. I watched my dad sleep, slowly breathing as his fingers moved across his rosary beads. I just watched with tears in my eyes, knowing how precious and holy this time was - with the realization that someday I would not be able to sit and soak in his physical presence like this.
Before dad died, I asked him if he was afraid to die. With ardent certainty, he said no. He knew where he was going and who he was going to see. The days or anniversaries I feel the loss of my dad even harder, it brings me such comfort to imagine him in the joy and fulfillment of Heaven.
Jesus promised his disciples, and each of us, that death is never the end of the story. Jesus undid the power of death when he got up and walked out of the grave on that Resurrection Sunday morning. He hated death so much that he didn’t want it to be the end for any of us.
Death will touch each of our lives, and at some point, our own physical bodies will cease to exist.
But because of Jesus we live with great hope and promise that death is never, ever the end of the story.
When not working in healthcare or writing, you can find Patty getting stronger at CrossFit, reading good books, and loving on her godchildren, niece, and nephew. She loves deep conversations at the intersection of faith, culture and ministry and using the art of storytelling to connect to people's hearts. Follow her Instagram here.