Learning to deal with death is part of life
Published 9:30 am Friday, June 10, 2022
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: I am trying to teach my teenagers the importance of showing respect for those who have died, but my friends tell me that young people should not be burdened with sickness, death, and funerals. I grew up helping the sick and attending funerals, even funerals of teenagers. It seems that learning to deal with death is part of life. — R.P.
Dear R.P.: There are many parents who try to protect their children from attending funerals or going to see the sick. Young people will not understand the importance of many things if they do not see correct behavior exemplified. Adults have the responsibility of teaching the younger generations. While this may not be the philosophy of society today, it is certainly what the Bible teaches.
God has not promised anyone immunity from sorrow, suffering, and pain. The world is a “vale of tears” and disappointment and heartache are as inevitable as clouds and shadows. Suffering is often the crucible in which faith is tested. Those who successfully come through the furnace of affliction are the ones who emerge like gold tried in the fire. The Bible teaches that we can unmistakably triumph over bereavement. The psalmist said, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
Suffering is endurable if we do not have to bear it alone, and the more compassion that is expressed by loved ones, the less acute the pain because someone is there to share in the grief with us. This is an important life lesson that must be taught and passed down to the next generation. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)