It was unexpected and swift, yet it seemed like an eternity. The phone rang: “Sis is in the hospital.” Initially, I wasn’t too concerned. I told my husband that it sounded serious but felt sure she would be released. Moments later, another call: “It doesn’t look good.” A few hours later: “She’s gone.”
I barely had time to process the reality of what had just happened. That was two years ago. It was her birthday—she was 40—and she had passed on to eternity. Needless to say, that night and the weeks ahead were difficult. I was tasked with taking care of things that must be done when a loved one passes, which I’d never thought I’d need to do so soon. My older sis had a heart that broke and failed and took her life, and we were all left with broken hearts. My fear of premature loss and death, which I hoped would never come to pass, was coming true. We knew she was sick but had hoped for healing.
Over the past two years, I’ve mourned her death in various ways. There have been moments of incredible hope. I know one day death will be swallowed up. I know that death has already been defeated because of our Savior. The truth of these verses leaves me longing for heaven, anticipating the day when there will be no more tears or sorrow but, rather, rejoicing forevermore. That day is coming, and it will be glorious. But there have been days when my tears could fill a river. I weep for our loss. I have no words. Yes, I have hope, but I still feel an indescribable heaviness, so I don’t try to explain. I simply cry.1