“What If?” (Post #37) Lessons Learned by a Dating Widower
Two young adults from our church passed away just last month. Both were younger than me.
A premature death is difficult to understand. A spouse, a close friend, a brother, a mother, a sister, a husband, a father, a child, a grandparent. If you can read this paragraph, most likely you’ve lost one or more of those loved ones. And when death claims people when they are young adults, it’s a stark reminder that life IS INDEED fragile.
Believe me, as a widower, I know.
Every untimely death serves to remind me of the question “What if God calls you ‘home’ today? Are you ready?” Hebrews 9:27 tells us that each of us WILL die, and then we will face judgment. So, am I ready for that? If I knew that next month would be my last month, what would I do differently?
I’ve lost both my parents, all of my grandparents, and most of my aunts and uncles. But losing my wife, ‘Ruby’, was absolutely devastating. Just ask any widow or widower. They’ll agree. Except for losing a child, there probably isn’t anything worse.
So, other than having your heart right with God, I have just three pieces of advice for all of you that are married, and those of you that plan to marry. 1) Plan ahead. Talk about what you’d like to happen if you ‘go’ first. Share your hopes and wishes. Share how you’d like to be remembered. Talk finances. Talk funeral arrangements. TALK! Thank the Lord, ‘Ruby’ and I had a couple of months to do that before she passed. But I’ve met SO many widows and widowers that never had that chance. So – TALK; now that you DO have the opportunity.
2) Tell them that you love them! Who’s “them” you ask? ANY and EVERY one that you DO love, and even those you DON’T! In the last couple of months of ‘Ruby’s’ life, I must have told her 200 times that I loved her. Now I wish I had told her 500 times! And a million more times in our 38 years of marriage. And, don’t just stop with your spouse! Tell everyone else around you! TELL THEM ALL! THEN SHOW THEM THAT YOU MEAN IT! You won’t have the chance when you’re compost.
3) Stop treating the unimportant stuff of life like it’s important. I’m no expert, but I would guess that 95% or more of what we worry about . . . and fret over . . . and lose sleep over, I S U N I M P O R T A N T! Go read, better yet – MEMORIZE Matthew 6:25-34. After I lost the love of my life, I THEN EXPERIENCED what IS important. And unfortunately, many times people never learn that lesson until it’s too late. Wanna hear my list of what’s important? I’ll be happy to share my list over a cup of coffee . . . when YOU have the time.