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  • John Whitehead

To Have Loved and Lost

Bonnie got a text last night. An old friend of ours had died. He was diagnosed with a terminal illness about a month ago. His diagnosis and death were a complete shock to us.


This is one of the hardest things to deal with as we age. People die. It sounds rather elementary, and it is. Yet, there is nothing elementary “to have loved and lost”.


It is simply a fact of life.


Over the last few years, I have lost friends and family members and I have witnessed and experienced the pain the loss of those near to us can bring.


Though never easy, I am learning the best way we can be prepared for the loss of others is to enjoy the time I have with them now.


Spending time with people, talking, laughing, and loving them is a gift from God. Yet so many times we take the gift for granted. Then, when death does come, we are shocked, hurt and in many cases angry because of it.


I believe there is a better way.


Instead of focusing on the loss and all the things in life we are disappointed in or disagree with; what if we focused on the joy found in living and the relationships we are blessed to have? If we did, we could except the end much easier because of the way we spent the time had.


You see, “to have loved and lost” is difficult, but it is so much better than not to have loved at all.


As always, I realize I don’t have the answer to why more time isn’t given to finding joy in relationships and living. The only thing I can surmise is most believe they have plenty of time for that.


I also believe many of us are not focused on the source of all joy. Jesus!


I realize even writing His name causes many to become defensive and upset. I also realize this points to a joyless perspective, which is a shame, because finding joy should be what living is all about.


So, if you know what it means “to have loved and lost”, then you also know what it means to have had the opportunity to experience the joy found in having loved.


Does this mean we should find joy in having lost someone we have loved? Absolutely not, it just means we have an opportunity to remember the joy of loving them each time we think of the one we lost.


This my friends, is a gift from God!


John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. "



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