In the past 2 years I have experienced the deaths of 7 significant people in my life: my pastor, some friends....(my pastor was also my friend), including people I watch over as THEIR pastor.
A few days ago a man I pastored who lived in Carrolton, TX, Jim Lott, died after a courageous fight with cancer. A number of his friends and relatives are grappling with his death...which was not unexpected - we just all hoped he would somehow beat cancer.
For a few years I worked as a hospice chaplain in N. Texas. I learned some things about death and grief doing that ministry.
Whenever something like Jim's death happens I encourage people to live in such a way after the death that it honors the person who died.
If you have plans for your life that the person celebrated with you....I encourage you to set your mind to accomplish those things and dedicate them to that person.
This is a great way to show our gratefulness to God for letting us cross paths with these other people who bring so much good into our lives.
It won't take the pain away but it WILL honor the memory of that significant person and it gives us something positive and productive that we CAN do in a time in which we feel so helpless to affect anything.