When Death Takes a Loved One
“IN 1981 my mother died of cancer. She was my adoptive mother. Her death was very hard on me and my adoptive brother. I was 17, and my brother was 11. I missed my mother so much. I was raised a Catholic, and having been taught that she was in heaven, well, I wanted to take my own life to be with her. She was my best friend.”—Roberta, 25 years old.
Have you had a similar experience? If so, you know firsthand the pain that accompanies the loss of a loved one. It seems so unfair that death should have the power to take away someone you love. And when it happens, the thought of never again being able to talk to, to laugh with, or to hold your loved one can be most difficult to bear. And as Roberta’s words indicate, that pain is not erased by being told that your loved one is up in heaven.
How, though, would you feel if you knew that it is possible to be reunited with your dead loved one in the near future, no, not up in heaven but right here on earth under peaceful, righteous conditions? And what if you also learned that at that time humans will have the prospect of enjoying perfect health and that they will never have to die? ‘Surely wishful thinking!’ you may say.
Yet, back in the first century C.E., Jesus Christ boldly stated: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life.” (John 11:25) That was a promise that the dead will live again—a thrilling prospect indeed!
Perhaps, though, you are wondering: ‘Is there a sound basis for believing in such a promise? How can I be sure that it is not just wishful thinking? And if there is a basis for believing it, what may the fulfillment of this promise mean for me and my loved ones?’ The following article will discuss these and other questions.