To die is to have no life. Death is natural and is part of our being. It is the time when our breath is removed from us. "Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years, and he was gathered to his people" (Gen 25:8 NIV). The deceased are free from pain and suffering, happiness and sadness. They are thought-less.
Death comes in different ways. Some people die after a very long time of suffering from very serious disease, while others may die after a short time, of illness. "One man dies in full vigour, completely secure and at ease, his body well nourished and his bones rich with marrow. Another man dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good. Side by side they lie in the dust" (Job 21:23-26).
We mourn for the deceased because we know for sure that we will miss their physical being for a while. Their works, love and voices will be missed. Mourning is normal and is a Bible custom. Mourning for our dead does not mean that the deceased knows that we are weeping for them. Whether our deceased was a believer or not they know nothing after they have died. People are dying from all age groups, starting from infants, going up through teenagers up to adulthood. They all face death.
We must regard death as an enemy because it has taken our loved ones, our children, our parents, our friends or relatives who shared their lives with us, and now are gone. This death needs to be defeated. We should not be happy with the ceremonies surrounding death. Let us start fighting against this enemy today by keeping close to God and understanding His wonderful plan of salvation.
Bro Harmony Ntchalachala (Kasungu, Malawi)