Thursday, April 18, 2024

Death not ‘the end’


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ANGLICAN?ARCHBISHOP, Dr John Holder, delivered a message of hope to the Thompson family and the thousands who attended his funeral service at Kensington Oval yesterday.
In his address at the service, he told those gathered that all through the ages humanity has tried to understand the relationship between life and death and has hoped for life beyond death.
But he pointed out that there was need for hope. “For the agony, the pain and the fear that death interjects into our minds are some of the most difficult to endure and to understand and to explain. They are the type we wish we could avoid. When we are touched by death, all these unpleasant experiences come showering down upon us, and we wish we could just skip over this time to a time somewhere in the future, when they are all behind us. We do not cope well with death. And yet , ironically, it is death, especially that of a loved one, that ushers us on a journey to discover more about life, especially the life of the one whom we mourn in death,” he stated.
He said many great thinkers of history had wrestled with the relationship between life and death, including St Paul, who had extended euridite discussions “searching for a clue, hoping for  some light to shine through the dark glass as he wrestled with the relationship between death and life and death and life eternal”.
And  he read a poignant poem from Alfred Lord Tennyson, which reflected on life and death.
Bishop Holder stated:?“We claim that there is something about this death-life relationship, about this mixture of death and life and hope that point us beyond the physical world, with its pain and agony that death imposes upon us.”
“Hope”, he said, “speaks to us not about the automatic removal of the pain no matter how awful, or intense, or the cancelling of the cross, no matter how heavy, but it speaks instead about the assurance of God’s presence no matter how painful may be the experiences of life and death, no matter how heavy may be the cross. Hope can speak of the God of  life even when we are overwhelmed by death.”
To the grieivng Thompson family, he said:?“But even as you try to sort the pieces out, do not let the pain and the loss drown out the hope. For hope there must be if you are going to see today and this time of grief and pain as one of the phases of life that you are passing through…. Our dear Prime Minister David has left us enough in his short life to inspire us to carry on.
“We can therefore see all the good things done by our late Prime Minister for his family, for Barbados, for his constituents.” (MB)


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