Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Discovering a fresh loss


When a loved one dies, it isn’t possible to immediately assess all that has been lost. Sometimes it takes years to realize all that I am missing when someone close passes away.

If that person is a Christian, you know you haven’t lost them—they’ve just been promoted to God’s presence, where one day you too will be if you know Christ as Savior. You’ve not lost them but you no longer have access to them, and all that they were and all that they did and all that they meant is has been pulled away from you and carried off. Relocated. Out of sight. For a time.

Certainly they left a blessed legacy, but they themselves are gone.

You can’t sit down and have a cup of coffee with a legacy. You can’t hug a legacy, or shake hands with a memory. The loss is real.

I discovered a fresh loss yesterday. Tom Perry was (is!) my brother-in-law. He was (is!) the husband of my wife’s identical twin, Diane. Tom went to be with Jesus on June 21st of this year. It was unexpected—a shock.

Yesterday I sent out the first two chapters of my next book to my beta-readers. Tom was one of my beta-readers. He would read with a very positive, yet critical eye. Although he could pick out a typo readily, Tom wasn’t into grammar and syntax. He could spot stuff that didn’t belong. A character acting out of character. A plot point that stretched credibility.

And he could provide positive suggestions, nuances or scenes I hadn’t thought of. And he was always very encouraging. A great beta-reader. A great friend and brother-in-law.

I discovered a fresh loss yesterday. Yes, it is a selfish thing, my loss. Trivial in the overall scheme of things. Perhaps. But a loss, nonetheless.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13–14)