Surfing the internet last Tuesday morning, I read about a jogger being mauled by a pit bull and was killed in less than four minutes. Then, in the evening, there was a brief news report on this incident. Like most people, I was shocked and saddened by the mishap.
By the time I finished reading the same article in the newspapers the next morning, something made me called my mother and relate this unfortunate incident to her. At that moment, I was wondering if the victim was her younger brother because they had the same surname and he was around that age as well.
She wasn’t sure and wanted to call her youngest brother if he have any information. So just before I hung up, I told her I will be calling her back to check on this. Immediately, she called her youngest brother. But, no one answered. Fortunately, she made another call and managed to speak with an auntie who reluctantly let the cat out of the bag.
Like others, the prospect of losing someone dearest to our hearts is a somber, almost untenable thought. Chocked with emotions she confirmed that this was her younger brother. My uncle and his family were already on their way to be with the victim’s family in this hour of pain and grief. After making some calls, I left everything aside and proceed to do what needs to be done immediately.
You see, all of us have lost touch with them for some forty years or so. I did not expect the jogger that was mauled by a pit bull was so closely related to us. He died at the scene after the dog bit him on the neck, face and with his right ear almost ripped off, at an age of 74 years.
More members of the family were informed of our uncle’s tragic death. Every one was taken aback and made their way back to pay their last respect gradually. By the morning of the funeral service, members of the family, including my mother, sister and brother-in-law had gathered to pay our last respect. Indeed, it was difficult and painful for us to accept his demise in an uncommon way. However, there were no alternatives except to look at the bigger picture. If I may add, his sacrifice generated much public awareness, especially on the handling of some difficult to manage species.
We may have strong imprints from the past. But, if we keep reminding ourselves of the pains of the past, most probably, we will end up fighting against each other and consequently everyone in the family will be destroyed. Do we need to punish ourselves like that? In this case, his sudden departure paved the way for his loved ones and other family members to let go the baggage they have been carrying for so long. With the Grace of God, every family member can now look forward to forging the bond that have been missing for so many years.
As I looked around those in attendance last Saturday, I saw faces that were extremely weary and sad. Some were tear strained. And it was an agonizing thing to watch one of his children crying uncontrollably. The thought that someday, I, too, will go through this ceremony was brought to my mind. I felt a painful stab into my heart. Then, I felt a lump in my throat swelling and as I tried swallowing the sad impression, I felt better when I think of Christians referring to a departed loved one as having, “gone home to be with the Lord.”
We struggle in this life with many uncertainties. We are never assured of anything except God. He is the one constant, unchangeable element in all things, the hope of all who trust in Him. God understand the anguish. What death has stolen will be replaced immeasurably by the good hand of our Lord. Our hope is not in this life but in eternity. Each sigh of grief will be replaced with the unspeakable joy of reigning, side by side, together with Christ forever ……….