When a Why Question Has No Immediate Answer
We are sometimes like children in that we get frustrated when our “Why” questions do not get immediate answers. Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the death of my younger brother, Bob. He was simply walking his dog when he fell, striking his head on the concrete. He drove himself to the Emergency Room where he spent the night. He slipped into unconsciousness the next day and was admitted to the Palliative Care Unit of Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Ten days later, I stood at his bedside as he briefly opened his eyes once more, then again, a minute later when his wife, Linda, arrived. The next time he opened his eyes, he was in heaven. This has been an extremely difficult year, loaded with “Why” questions, to which there are no good answers. Among other things, this much I have learned – When emotions are tender, perhaps even raw, simple things, that ordinarily would not consume much time, become huge. Things that, in other circumstances, might take only a few minutes or hours of time, suddenly seem to never go away. Stress intensifies. Nerves are frayed. Conduct is affected. An oft used funeral scripture begins with the words of Jesus, “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1), yet in the past year, it has often been troubled. Later, in response to a question from Thomas, Jesus claimed, “I am the . . . truth” (John 14:6), meaning, among other things, He has the correct answers to life’s “Why” questions, and I must be content for now, to leave those answers there. I’m told the second year gets easier. I truly hope so.