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Death is Part of Life
By Wendy Gladney
Published June 30, 2022

Wendy Gladney (File photo)

 

There are not many things in life that are certain, but one of those certainties is death. As unsettling as it might sound, the fact is, we all are going to die. Death is part of life and there is no escaping it.

The death of a loved one leaves a void in our heart that cannot be filled.  Each person in our life plays a role for a reason or a season. With the loss of a loved one, we will experience intense emotions, ranging from sadness, emptiness, and despair to disbelief, detachment, guilt, sorrow, and grief; grief is a complicated human emotion that unfortunately we all will encounter some time in our life.

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How we cope with our loss is critical and important to understand because it can even affect others in our life such as family, friends, and sometimes whole communities.

I have personally experienced the death of loved ones, but usually they were older, and we were more prepared for their transition, but when someone passes that is younger than you it makes you pause and think about your own mortality.

Recently, I have been facing serious health issues of loved ones, as well as the passing of one of my dearest cousins, Dr. Michael “Cory” Flores. He is my first cousin on my maternal side of the family, and we often thought of each other as siblings, more so than just cousins, we were that close.

We met during my first year of college when he was around 11-years-old.  I did not grow up with the maternal side of my family and I was wanting to get to know them and build a relationship.

When my cousin Cory and I met it was an instant connection that would last the next 42 years. He was one of the smartest people I have ever met and was just a kind and gentle soul.

He died from various forms of cancer that had metastasized throughout much of his body. During the end, he was in excruciating pain. It is hard to witness or know that your loved one is suffering. I am grateful that he is no longer hurting.

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Because I am a believer and trust in God’s word when He says in Romans 8:28 that He can make good things come from bad things – even death. One of those good things is it should help us reflect and ask questions like; “Am I doing all I can do?  Am I living up to my purpose? Am I helping mankind? Does my life matter?”

It is very important to be kind, gentle, patient, extend grace and forgiveness as much as possible because we never know when the last time might be that we may see someone. I make it a habit to share with my family members and friends that I love them. Too many of us send flowers to a funeral home after the death of a loved one, but never gave them their roses while they were alive.

I remember reading years ago that one of the best things you can do with people you care about is to build positive memories and document them for when things get tough, they will remind you of the positive things that will help you during dark times.

Take the time while you can and frame your legacy through positive memories and keeping family history alive. Death is part of life, but how we handle life will prepare us on how we handle death.

For those of us that are Christians, death is not the end, but rather a new beginning on the other side.  We will see each other again.

Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on.

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.

Categories: WENDY'S WINDOW
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