In my grief I find comfort in seeing what happened that Resurrection Sunday night. Jesus stood at the foot of the hospital bed and held out his hand. Dennis reached for his Savior's hand and Jesus lifted him out of his body. As they stood together a moment, Dennis looked at his loving wife, and hesitated. "Don't worry Dennis. I will take care of her," Jesus said. Then they left the room together and Dennis soared with wings like an eagle and with an eagle's eyes he saw everything more crystal clear than he'd ever seen before. Dennis always loved to fly. For me, Resurrection Sunday night was a perfect time to transition.
I can't even imagine how Charyl must feel right now, even as close to her as I feel. My heart and spirit are broken for my sister. She and Dennis had that wonderful kind of marriage that seems to elude most couples. He loved her as God intended a man to love his wife, calling her his "Fluff" and other loving terms of endearment that were particular to Dennis. She was his love from grade school, and even in grade school he knew he loved her.
And she always loved him as God intended a woman should love her husband. He was her love from grade school, and even in grade school she knew she always loved him. But now he is gone and our sister has to walk the loneliest road a wife has to walk.
Words cannot express the loss and pain.
And for me, personally I feel this great loss. There is a huge hole in my heart. Dennis loved me like his kid sister. I would even go so far as to say I have never felt any love from my own siblings like I felt from Dennis. Truly he was more my brother than a mere sharing of genetics could ever produce. I know, whenever I hear the word "Kid," as he used to call me (and everyone), I will hear Dennis' voice.
My words are falling far short of what I wanted to say about this man, but I am comforted knowing that no words can ever express the pain I feel or what I feel about the friendship/kinship we had with him and we still feel with Charyl.
And there is another, better source of comfort that I can have in this terrible loss. It is the comfort knowing that Dennis is with Jesus and someday John and I will see him again.
God's Word very clearly gives me comfort in this loss. He tells us that there is hope even in our painful loss of this man of God. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have God's Word to cling to.
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that He has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when the earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble and the waters surge! Psalm 46:1-3
The Lord is close to the broken hearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18
See, God has come to save me. I will trust Him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song. He has given me victory. Isaiah 12:2
And in the book of John, chapter 11 there are two words: Jesus wept.
What does that tell me?
These two words, profound in their simplicity, tells me that Jesus, the Son of God wept because he mourned for his friend Lazarus; even though He knew He would call his friend out of the tomb. Why would this bring me comfort?
This brings me comfort because I don't have to be ashamed to cry for missing Dennis. If God as a man would cry for His friend, He is telling us to shed those tears too. As Tolkien had Gandalf say, "I will not say, 'do not weep,' for not all tears are an evil."
The tears we shed for our friend are more precious than any earthly wealth. The tears we shed for our friend are worth it because Dennis was worth the tears. We have a price to pay for our friendship with this wonderful man of God. No matter how many tears I cry for him; no matter how I mourn for this loss, and when my grief is so great I cannot contain my voice, I will count it all as a cost worth paying. To have known Dennis and loved him is worth every tear.
If you weep for Dennis, weep and do not be ashamed. He was worth every tear.