As many of you know, for the past two weeks my family has been trying to make sense of the untimely death of my cousin. It has been a difficult two weeks to say the least. My uncle, aunt, and their son have been thrown into deep sorrow and confusion as they’ve tried to make sense of it all. The problem is that no matter how much you try to make sense of the situation’it simply doesn’t make sense.
On Monday of this past week we all gathered for her funeral and I witnessed firsthand the devastation and agonizing grief that was present in the room and in the hearts of those who loved her so much. It was an ‘untimely’ death. An ‘untimely’ death catches us off guard, we can’t anticipate it, we aren’t prepared for it, and as a result we feel like we have been hit by a truck when they occur.’ The American Heritage Dictionary defines, ‘untimely,’ as 1. occurring or done at an inappropriate time; inopportune. 2. occurring too soon; premature: an untimely death. I have spoken at the funerals of hundreds of people over the course of the past 20 years. In a way, all of those families felt like the death of their loved one was ‘untimely.’ Anytime you love someone, and enjoy their company, you believe that their death occurred too soon, that it was premature. It doesn’t matter if they were 100 years old; you still would like to have more time with them.’ I don’t want to minimize the grief that any of us has experienced when we’ve lost a loved one, but I want to focus our study this morning on a particular kind of loss. Let me give you an example other than the example of my cousin.
Two weeks ago Sara was a promising Senior at Heritage Hall High School. She was brilliant, had a bright future, and could have done anything she set her mind to do in life. She went to bed on Sunday night so that she would be rested for school on Monday morning. Her mother woke her up on Monday morning, went to fix breakfast, and when Sara didn’t come to the breakfast table, her mother went to check on her. Sara was laying on the floor in her room. She had died. Just like that, in an instant, her life was over. Now her family is forced to deal with the sudden loss of their daughter. They were preparing for her graduation, they were looking forward to her going to college, getting married one day, and beginning a family. The furthest thing from their mind was planning her funeral. That is an untimely death.