I have felt a bit like a prophet of doom this week.
The guy who was (until last weekend) the main minister of our church has been diagnosed with cancer. There are many people (Canberra being Canberra) who once came to our church but have now moved interstate/overseas. I have been contacting those whom I am still in contact with via facebook/email/phone to let them know.
On the one hand you hesitate to tell people bad news ...on the other hand it is better to know sooner so you can offer support, send messages etc.
On the whole I don't think we handle illness, disease and death very well in our culture. I suspect it is because despite the fact that we will all die...in this country we aren't confronted with it head on. Because we have a high standard of living and good health care and we generally don't live in villages with communal facilities we are not confronted with illness and death in a way those in the developing world are (or previous generations were).
I was 46 before I saw a dead person - sadly that person was Glenn.
After Glenn died I took both FD and No 1 Son to see him - a fairly brutal thing to be confronted with at a relatively young age but many kids would have been exposed to this harsh reality of life much earlier.
I suspect this unfamiliarity with illness and death is what makes these subjects difficult to discuss and why some people say inappropriate things.....don't ever say "I know how you feel" - you don't. Even if someone close to you has had the same injury/illness /disease or has died.....everybody is different..everybody relates differently and therefore everybody will feel different.
Another one I hate is "I'm sorry" ...I bet you aren't nearly as sorry as the person you are saying it too.
While I am confident that Glenn is now enjoying eternity with God that doesn't make death a good thing. The empty space he left in the lives of those who knew him is real - it is not right that FD and No 1 Son are growing up fatherless. We rejoice in Glenn's salvation but we still mourn his loss.
Those who are ill and/or injured suffer pain - and those who love them see them suffer - not a good thing.
The one thing that keeps echoing in my head is something that Marcus said at Glenn's funeral.
Glenn was "good to go". While I am confident that Dave is "good to go" we want him to stay - there is nothing good about illness and death.
This week I have been reminded that
Life happens, and death happens (Reddy or Not)