TRANSITIONS

Our friend George Williams died yesterday. He had led a long life, was a man of great faith, and was a much beloved leader in our community. He leaves behind a loving wife, three children, their spouses and many grandchildren. He will be greatly missed.

It never ceases to amaze me that we can reduce a life, its impact, and the weight of its loss to such a few paltry words. We tie it up in a neat little bundle to be passed around and commented on. Much later on, someone finds it wherever it has been left and puts it in the memento box on the shelf. Periodically we take it down and dust it off. “Oh, so-and-so was such a good fellow.” We tell stories until we are sated, then drift off into the other things of life.

As I look out my window, there is a cold, late winter rain falling. The kind that is melancholy and seeps into your bones. It seems so very appropriate and echoes our pain, shedding our tears.

No matter how many times I go through this process, the days following the death of a loved one, I never get used to it. At this point in life it has become as maddeningly routine as it is unavoidable. I never have figured out if the shock, confusion and bewilderment we feel as we struggle to adjust to this unwanted new reality is a help or a hindrance. I am always short tempered and can’t string two thoughts together to save my life. People ask me questions and my brain freezes, my eyes cross and the best I can come up with is, “Whatever!” I have precious few brain cells and they are not functioning very well at the moment. It always seems to work better if I don’t have to talk. Talking takes more energy than I have to expend.

Step-by-step we make our way through the transitions we must in order to say good-bye to our loved one, pick up the pieces they left behind, and find out how to re-integrate into life. Our ability to process what we need is generally impacted by how close we were in our relationship to the recently departed. When that person is a much beloved leader in the community, the loss can sometimes be very difficult to take and tends to affect many more people, more deeply than it would otherwise.

There are always many questions that come to mind at times like this, but the underlying one that always gets to all of us is the unanswerable one: When does the clock strike for me?

— J. E. Clark | 10 March 2011

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David Phelps singing No More Night

 

FOR OUR FRIEND GEORGE WILLIAMS

 

NO MORE NIGHT

Written by Walt Harrah, Sung by David Phelps

The timeless theme, Earth and Heaven will pass away.
It’s not a dream, God will make all things new that day.
Gone is the curse from which I stumbled and fell.
Evil is banished to eternal hell.

No more night. No more pain.
No more tears. Never crying again.
And praises to the great “I AM.”
We will live in the light of the risen Lamb.

See all around, now the nations bow down to sing.
The only sound is the praises to Christ, our King.
Slowly the names from the book are read.
I know the King, so there’s no need to dread.

No more night. No more pain.
No more tears. Never crying again.
And praises to the great “I AM.”
We will live in the light of the risen Lamb.

See over there, there’s a mansion, oh, that’s prepared just for me,
Where I will live with my Savior eternally.

No more night. No more pain.
No more tears. Never crying again.
And praises to the great “I AM.”
We will live in the light of the risen Lamb.

All praises to the great “I AM.”
We’re gonna live in the light of the risen Lamb.

 

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PHOTO CREDITS:

Friends of the Detroit River, Humbug Marsh, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, Gibraltar, Michigan

David Phelps picture is from The Gaither Vocal Band video of his performance of No More Night.

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