Family Lessons 57: Just Another Entry

Another one added. Another name in the long roll-call of dead human beings. On Wednesday morning, my own mother passed into eternity. She who had spent thirty years of her life researching and recording our family tree now joins the ranks of ancestors who left this world to enter the next. I added ‘2022’ to her own page on the program, sealing her entry, completing her profile. Another generation gone; another name preserved in the memories of the few. For six thousand years, sons have seen their mothers die:

That which has been is what will be,

That which is done is what will be done,

And there is nothing new under the sun. Ecc. 1:9

Birth and death are now our lot; we do not ask to be born, and we cannot ask to not die:

A time to be born,

And a time to die;

A time to plant,

And a time to pluck what is planted. Ecc. 3:2

In the feeble state of dying, when the cancer dulled her mind and smothered her speech, she approached that deathly state of inertia to which Solomon again alludes:

For the living know that they will die;

But the dead know nothing,

And they have no more reward,

For the memory of them is forgotten.

Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished;

Nevermore will they have a share

In anything done under the sun. 9:5-6

I attempted to share the gospel with her. Sometimes she indulged me, sometimes she tired of hearing about ‘religion’. I prayed to God that she called out to Him before she slipped away, into the eternal realms, where God hears no more the cries of the seeker. So a final admontion from old Solomon, to those with eyes to read:

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,

Before the difficult days come,

And the years draw near when you say,

“I have no pleasure in them”. Ecc. 12:1

Not from the dust affliction grows,
Nor troubles rise by chance;
Yet we are born to cares and woes –
A sad inheritance!

As sparks break out from burning coals,
And still are upward borne,
So grief is rooted in our souls,
And man grows up to mourn.

Yet with my God I leave my cause
And trust his promised grace;
He rules me by his well-known laws
Of love and righteousness.

Not all the pains that e’er I bore
Shall spoil my future peace;
For death and hell can do no more
Than what my Father please.

Isaac Watts, Gadsby's Hymns, 465