© Ferna Lary Mills
When I was a little girl, I had a favorite doll that I cherished and carried with me wherever I
went. One day, for reasons I'm sure God only knows, I suddenly outgrew that little doll and just
left her behind. It was time. It eventually disappeared completely. Mom never said what
happened to it, and I don't remember ever asking. I had gone on to better things.
The same thing happened over and over again throughout my years: different items, same
outcome. I outgrew things. Whether clothes, records, or one fad after another, eventually I
outgrew them and they were no longer necessary for my happiness. What is it with these
"things"? Why do we have things that (for a time) we believe we can't live without; but once
we've moved on from them, they seem so insignificant?
Now, there are some things we DO need that ARE important for our happiness and well being.
For a time. In fact, it's this whole "time" thing that causes us so much trouble. When we lose a
"thing" because we've outgrown it, we may never even give it a second thought. But if it's taken
from us before we're ready to give it up: instant grief! (Try taking a pacifier away from a baby
that's not ready to turn loose of it yet!)
Grief is loss of something or someone we still need and love. Something or someone who is
still all-important in our life. The amount of need and love of that someone or something will
determine the amount of grief when it's lost from us.
True, some-ONE is a lot different that some-THING. But since nothing on this planet is eternal,
and since every person, place and thing has a "time" thing attached to it, we will at some time
eventually lose everything and everyone if we live long enough past the "time" thing.
If I could live to be 1000, which thankfully I can't, imagine the things and the loved ones I would
outlast. Imagine the grief of so many losses.
When a loved one dies, someone always says, "It was their time." Was it? When my Mom
died, I cried, "No. It's not time!" I wasn't through with her yet. I wasn't ready. I still needed her
in my life and she was gone long before I was ready to even think about letting her go.
Then, someone in their infinite wisdom asked this question: "If not now, when?"
Whew. Good question. When IS a good time to lose a loved one? Now? Next month? Five
years from now? Did I truly want her to outlive me and be the one left behind grieving an
ocean of tears? Would my grief have been one teardrop less if she had lived another ten
years? Or twenty? No, there is never going to be a time when we are ready to say, "Okay, I’m
done. You can go now."
The "time" thing is always there, noticed only when it seems out of sync with our own personal
At some point, it finally dawned on me that MY timetable is irrelevant. It was a difficult concept
for me to grasp. However, I am not the center of the Universe. God is. He is the Creator of
time, so it's HIS time-thing, not mine, and His timing is always perfect!
When Mom’s "time" came, it was at the time of God's choosing, not mine. In the split second
between what we call "life and death", she no longer needed her earthly body. The moment the
Lord reached down and took her hand, her earthly body became another "thing"” of
insignificance – to her. With His touch, I’m certain the Glory surrounding her was so awesome,
that she discarded that body without a second thought, just like that doll I discarded so many
years ago. She no longer had any need for the physical things, even her physical body. She
had "outgrown" it.
The doctors give a time of death to be noted on a Death Certificate. Maybe someone should
lobby to change this. They should be recording a time of Eternal Life (the moment of our re-
birth) on a new Birth Certificate for Heaven! She didn't die. She was born into the arms of the
Lord in a place so awesome; I can't even begin to imagine it accurately. No, she didn't die. He
simply turned out her light because her dawn had finally arrived. She left this house and she
Yes, her physical body died. Cancer made sure of that. But nothing could kill the Spirit of the
woman who occupied that mortal body for 65 years. God promised she would have Eternal Life
because she knew Him. He promises us the same thing, if we know Him.* He also made a
promise to us that there will be a Grand Reunion one day, and He is eternally faithful in His
As you remember your loved ones who have gone on ahead of you and are now in the
Glorious presence of the Lord, may you also remember God's promises and draw strength from
them. (There are over 5,000 of them in the Bible.) Also, remember that He has metered our
own life into moments of "time". We must use them wisely and make each moment worthwhile.
For the day will come when our dawn arrives and He will reach out and touch our hand, turn
out our light and say, "It’s time. Welcome Home."
May the Lord truly bless you and give you Peace.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
* If you don't yet know the Lord, what are you waiting for? He's been waiting for you since the
moment He conceived you in His thoughts and knit you in your mother's womb. It's not too late,
yet, and He's truly only a breath away. "Key to Heaven" may encourage you and guide you
gently towards finding Him for yourself. It's the easiest, yet the most important thing you will
ever do in your life. He promises.
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Life After Loss
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