Is All Death “Untimely?”

Life is fleeting.

It seems at every turn in the past few weeks, someone I know is in the last stages of life. Or, more accurately, I should say the parent of someone I know is in the last stages of life.

Now, we Baby Boomers all know that we’ve reached the age where, if we still have our parents, they are officially “elderly.” We all saw it coming. We can all do the math.

But it seems, at least in the world around me, that it’s happening all at once. Saturday, we lost my Aunt Shirley – Mom’s sister. Two months ago, we buried my Aunt Ruth – Dad’s sister. And so many of my friends are burying their parents, settling their estates, dealing with grief. Or they’re comparing notes as to the late-in-life afflictions their parents are dealing with, and thus, they deal with. I’m among the very few my age who still have both parents.

Facebook, for all its foibles, has also become a far reaching, informal obituary. A lifeline for friends to support friends who sadly watch those who were once our strength, become those whose strength has failed them.


Life is fleeting.

Okay now, I am well aware, that in this world, there is nothing – nothing – more heart-wrenching, than losing a child. But there is nothing more certain than losing a parent. My day will come, and if it hasn’t yet, yours will too. With the loss of the young, we grieve so deeply over what might have been, what they missed, what we missed by their absence. We call those deaths “untimely.” But with the elderly, often it’s, “She lived a full life.” “It was just his time.” And more often it seems, “She was suffering so… I’m glad she no longer hurts….”

But all death – all death is “untimely.” It’s easy to think that once you’ve reached a certain age (somewhere past 70, or 75, I’m guessing) that you’ve lived a “full life.” Some even throw in the towel when they reach those milestones. Some let old age win, while some fight it off, and some are even able to laugh it off…. And of course, some no longer have the capacity to fight at all.

But whether it happens at age 80, or age 18, life is fleeting, and death is untimely.

Why? Because we were never meant to die at all.

The grief of this world bears witness to the imperfection of this world – and the imperfection of each of us. A perfect body would never falter, a perfect mind would never wander off. Something is very wrong, and eventually, only death can make it right. How can death possibly be right? Because death isn’t the end. It’s the beginning.

Any math student can tell you that 70 – 80 – 90 – 100… are all small numbers compared to infinity. In fact they are tiny – yes, infinitesimal. They don’t even show up as a blip – compared to infinity. So while our imperfect bodies generally last no more than 100 years… we simply trade in these old heaps for something infinite – or “eternal.”

Recently my now 80 year old dad (as of last week) who is now wheelchair dependent… expressed that he “just wants to go home.” Exactly.

Where is home? What’s the end result? That depends. It depends on whether or not you know the One who was indeed perfect, but died anyway, so we’d have the path to eternity marked out for us. For these imperfect bodies of ours will indeed expire… and it will be “untimely.”

In one of her final conversations, in a rare lucid moment, Aunt Shirley broke from the fog of Alzheimer’s to say to her grandson, “Well, I’d better tell you goodbye. I won’t be seeing you anymore. I going – to be with Jesus.”

Life – in this world – is fleeting. Life – in the next world – is forever. Life – in the next world, with Jesus – is forever right and good. Ready?

Your thoughts?


8 thoughts on “Is All Death “Untimely?”

  1. I don’t usually take the time to read blogs but I’m glad I read yours – nice job!
    You nailed it- Something went wrong alright- way back in Genesis 3- but God already had a plan in place for us! It would be horrible to not know of our blessed certainty of our Savior as we know we will all someday die. Thanks for a thoughtful article.

    1. So great to hear from you Pat – thanks for taking time to read – and respond! Facing death isn’t scary when you know God’s plan (it’s the process of dying that’s scary… but that’s another blog!)

  2. Is this your first blog? It’s the first one I’ve read. My dad died just over a year ago, and it is a different feeling watching our parents age. We all need to be ready! Thanks for sharing… & it was great to see you again. I remember Rhonda & I praying for you & my brother when we were younger ( your college years)! God has answered them beyond our asking!

    1. It was great seeing you too, Page, and getting your updates. And I know it meant a lot to Rhonda. And those prayers way back when – those mean a lot to me. They probably kept me from making even more stupid decisions than I actually did!

  3. Denny, What a great article. HOW TIMELY ! No pun intended.. This week we watch as our friends as the they agonized the 1 yr anniversary of their young 21 year old , fit, athletic, strong son who was at college passed out and died in class. The picture of health. They love the Lord as did he but their hearts are so hurting, agonizing over his ‘ untimely ‘ loss and WHY!! Over the last few months I have watched my 83 yr OAK tree Dad wither away with age and now Bladder cancer, the surgeries and treatments.. I asked myself.. HOW did he get so old and I didn’t notice? How did he become a weakening oak tree. I /we are blessed to be have been so fortunate to have my folks all this time in good health. How come we are never ready for death ? Even when we know as adults it happens. WOW your article has me thinking today. I sure wish you were closer we would have to meet !

    Miss guys you Brother!

    Thanks for the reminder of how it will be ‘one day absent of the body and present with the LORD’ AMEN! Come quickly now Lord Jesus.

    1. Thanks for the kind comments Mike. You’ve shared some pretty insightful thoughts yourself. One day, there’ll be no more tears for those who’ve believed in Christ. Take care Bro.

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