5.09.2012

A Beautiful Death

Ever since I was little, I always wondered how I was going to die.  Would I be in a car accident?  Would I get thrown from a horse?  Would I die slowly, from leukemia or cancer?  Or perhaps I would die saving someone from drowning?

I admit…none of these were really what I had in mind.  I would be perfectly content living to a ripe old age – dying quietly in my bed with my husband, children, grandchildren (and even great-grandchildren) circled around my bed, singing to me.  But I guess I’ll never know till it happens…

This last weekend has been very emotionally draining for me.  Joshua Eddy fell into heavy rapids in the Rogue River (in Southern Oregon) and has yet to be found.  Search and Rescue Teams were looking for his body for over 48 hours.  They searched 20 miles up and down the river, but to no avail.  It was hard but we finally had to accept the fact that Josh went home to be with the LORD. 

I didn’t know Josh very well.  I had only seen him a few times, and only really talked to him once.  But I have some good friends who were very close to him...and they and his family are suffering so much, so hard right now. 

But even though some people didn’t know Josh during his 19 years of life, God has used his death to reach people.  Josh’s blog has had almost 10,000 hits in just the last couple of days.  They made a page for him on Facebook and he has gotten almost 500 ‘fans’.  His legacy lives on.  He has touched so many lives.

This got me thinking (it’s not like I hadn’t thought of this before)…

What will it be like when I die?

I may not die a valiant, sacrificial death – such as, saving someone from a fire or throwing myself in front of a car that’s about to hit a small child – but will I die a beautiful one?  Will I have the peace to know that I left behind a legacy?  A beautiful legacy that points others to Christ?  Will people remember my words to them in a good way?  Or will I have hurt many people who will only remember me bitterly?  Will people who I had never met in life, be touched by the Holy Spirit through my death?  Will my parents and siblings be able to mourn for me, but at the same time, smile because of the wonderful, beautiful memories we had made together?  And to be able to rest assured that I am in heaven with my loving, heavenly Father?

These questions always make me think after someone I knew (or knew of) has passed away.  Thankfully, all of them had been believers and we were able to mourn and rejoice at the same time because we knew they were finally HOME.  But what hope do unbelievers have?  What hope do their loved ones have whom they left behind?  None.  And what legacy do they leave behind?.....

I may not die a valiant death, but I pray that I leave a beautiful legacy.  One that people will remember me as ‘the girl who gave her all to her LORD’.  One that will touch people who I was never privileged to meet in this life.  One that will challenge others not to take this life for granted.  A life that people would remember as strong and vibrant, living to its fullest, enjoying the small beauties, loving as many people as possible and always pointing to her Savior.  
This is the legacy I want to leave.

This is the death I want to die – a beautiful death.  And if I don’t, then my life wouldn’t have been worth living.  If I do, then I can die with a smile on my lips, a happy heart…

Because through it, I will point others to Christ.

27 comments:

  1. what a lovely post. question: what is the source for the first photo?
    -jocee <3

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  2. Great post. I have recently been reminded of this, too - my ballet teacher died a few weeks ago. She was a wonderful lady who gave her all to the Lord through her Christian ballet studio. So anyways, this post was very good for me to read now - to remind me that I want to leave a legacy for Christ.
    Thanks, Raquel :)

    -Betsy
    http://reviewsbybetsy.blogspot.com

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  3. Oops! Forgot to include the sources.
    All photos are taken from my 'All Things Bright and Beautiful' pinboard on Pinterest. (http://pinterest.com/MissRaquel316)

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  4. How tragic! I'll definitely be praying for the Eddy family and Josh's friends.

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  5. What an amazing post. I'm so sorry for yours and your friends' loss. But you can rest assured that Josh is safe in heaven, away from the cruel world and in total paradise. Death is always scary to me - in fact, it's my greatest fear. But knowing that I'm alive right this very minute, and have been for so many years makes me thankful for everything, and appreciate everyday more. I hope I too bless the people around me. And Raquel believe me - you have touched so many people through this blog! You have left a wonderful legacy already, and will leave an even greater one behind after the years and years to come. :)

    - Lydia ♥

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  6. A couple of years ago, a friend of ours drowned in a river in Honduras, he got caught in a whirlpool. He was 18 or 19 as well, and he was the only son, and he had lost his father from cancer when he was 9 or 10 (i'm guessing.)First of all I have never met Josh, in fact I didn't know about him till this happened... I have been following "First Impressions" and all the movie stuff and I can't wait to watch it in full. but when I found out Josh directed it, I can't describe the reaction. first of all it was shock, he was only 19. But then I found his blog and started reading.... part of me was questioning "why, God? the world needs young men like this and why does one of the few we have have to die?" Then I realized through his (rather) short life, I was impacted. I have never met him, but he impacted my life. it hit me: Life isn't about living long, its about the lives you impact and change during the time you live.

    Beautiful post dear, just lovely!

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  7. I have often pondered this myself. I hope that I will die glorifying God.


    hugs,
    ~Bree

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  8. Beautiful post, Raquel.

    Sometimes I do wonder how I will die someday. It's not something that I think about often, but it's entered my mind once in awhile.

    But it's not the type of death that we die that make us...special. In some cases it does, but not always.

    What makes a difference on how we die is how we lived our lives here on earth. Joshua lived such a short life, but from what I've heard about him, he lived it to the fullest, and for the glory of God.

    And that's something that I really admire about him.

    When I die, I want to leave the kind of legacy that you just described. Though in today's world it may not seem important, but in a long run, it truly is. :)

    Thank-you for posting your thoughts about this. You have inspired me (and perhaps others) to leave a legacy that will bring glory to our Lord and King, Jesus Christ.

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  9. Again, I'm really sorry for your loss, and for his family. This was a beautiful post that touched on so many points I often think about myself.

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  10. That is so so sad. I will definitely be praying for the family and friends of Joshua.

    How did he fall in, and how old was he?

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  11. This is a beautiful, though sad post, Raquel. I have often thought of the same thing; what will my death be like? I've often imagined dramatic, sacrificial deaths, such as "throwing myself in front of a car that’s about to hit a small child", as you put it, but I've always wanted what you described; family gathered around, going in my sleep. But the most important thing is that we DO leave a legacy; something that others will remember us by and point them to Christ.

    So sorry for the loss of your friend; I will be praying for y'all! May Jesus comfort the family and friends...

    Thanks so much for sharing this, though; it really got me (and many others, I'm sure) thinking! Simply beautiful, and so well written, m'dear.

    xo,
    Mikailah

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  12. Hmm....a thought provoking and lovely post Raquel. Thank you for sharing theses beautiful thoughts.

    I will definitely be praying for his family and friends. A young man from our area recently was killed in a rock climbing accident and while I was not a personal friend of his, a couple of my close friends were. He was a strong Christian and his life has touched so many, but it is still hard.

    Blessings,
    Tessa

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  13. I have considered the very same thing...maybe not as often as I should because it tends to make me feel depressed that people might not care that I'm gone, only my family. But I'm 100% sure that's not what I should be thinking about. It's the here and now that matters. What I do each day impacts others and their lives, either in a good way or in a bad way. Hopefully the former is true.

    I think you WILL leave a legacy behind, Raquel, this blog has touched many. People will remember you, and don't you forget it. Focus on the here and now, and you will always be remembered. I know I will remember you. But as said in the movie Gladiator, "Not yet. Not yet." you still have work to do in this life, all of it for the Lord who clearly has plans for you.

    Have a lovely day, my friend!

    ::hugs::

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  14. Lovely thoughts and questions. Definitely so much to think about!

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  15. Ever since you posted the tragic news on facebook, i've been praying. To have to accept the fact that he is gone is soooo hard to do. I can only imagine what his family and friends must be going through. I will continue to be in prayer for them.

    Your words are beautiful. Great things to think about.

    May you have a blessed day!

    -Madi

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  16. Thank-you so much for this post! Truly inspiring.

    eve @ essence of eve

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  17. You're legacy has already been started Raquel, in this amazing blog. God is already using you so much already.And although valiant deaths are sorta heroic, there can even be beauty in struggles and sickness.

    My great grandma passed away almost a month ago now. She was 91 and the most beautiful woman I have ever known. She went through so much in her live but was always positive. I spent so much time with her - me gaining wisdom and her just talking and encouraging. She was always so energetic, and so when she had a stroke, she was really taken back.

    But she made the choice for joy: she told me - "I have no idea as to why God would do this to me. But there must be a reason, so I need to stay strong to live His purpose." And she was strong -not physically, but spiritually and emotionally.

    And the legacy of wisdom, of joy and faith that she left was amazing. Like my brother said - "sometimes I wish I could wrap her up and keep her to show to my children and their children so they can be touched as well."

    And Raquel, i seriously believe your legacy will also keep going, will touch many hearts!

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  18. This was a WONDERFUL post! I'm so sorry. It's good that he obviously loved the Lord and has gone home. Here's a quote I think about a lot when I think about how and when I will die:

    "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what was woven into the lives of others" ~Pericles

    I wish I came up with that because it is so true!

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  19. This is so beautiful. And you remind me so much of myself...
    <3

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  20. I am so delighted to see this post, and the comments that have followed, from young people who are already considering the legacy they will leave behind. That's what it means to have an eternal focus!!!! Stay true to the course, Raquel! Keep your eyes on the prize. God is writing your story, for His glory, and its already beautiful! Love you:)

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  21. How sad! I hate unexpected tragic deaths. 

    I am sure it is especially hard for Josh's family and also those who knew him. At least they can be comforted by the fact that they will see him in heaven again. I know this does not replace missing him, though. 

    This reminds me of my cousin's tragic death 2 years ago. It was very similar but there was alcohol involved. Her family is not a christian. I have no idea if she was a christian although I hope with all my heart that she was. However, sometimes it seems unlikely that she was. 

    I don't like thinking about death. It is so complicated and depressing. One minute someone is here and the next minute they aren't. 

    Maybe you could answer this another time but.... How does one deal with the death of someone whom one doesn't know if they were a Christian or one knows they weren't a question? What about all the " ifs" surrounding death, such as what if alcohol hadn't been involved or they hadn't gone to that destination?

    Sorry for rambling. I just feel I need some answers or closure. Sometimes I feel that I can't handle deaths anymore. 

    Praying for you, Josh's family and all who knew him. 
    Sarah

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  22. This was a great, thought-provoking, touching post. I recently saw someone post a status about Josh, though I didn't know exactly who he was. Then I checked his links from this post, and I realized he was part of the crew of First Impression. And wow, he was young, just nineteen. It may be hard to understand God's plan in all this, but still we have to trust Him.

    This sounds both sad and sobering, yet it's a great reminder for us to live each moment with purpose. Because in the end, when we die, it's our legacy that will be left behind. Or not. The legacy you want to leave behind pretty much sums up my own. And your idea of a beautiful death bring a verse from God's Word to mind. "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain."

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  23. I too am thankful that all of my loved one whom have passed away are resting in the Father's house. I rejoice for them!

    Lovely post,
    Kianna Rose
    http://kiannaskorner.blogspot.com

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  24. I don't know if any of us will die the way we want, in pain or without, slow or fast. But I do know that those who trust in their Savior will be welcomed through beautiful gates into Heaven. I would almost say that that would be enough for me. But I want to live a legacy as well. Be the one that brought a smile on a sad day, gave the hug when someone needed it, shared a simple truth that they needed to hear, shared the love of my KING. This was a lovely post Raquel... as your posts always are. I don't see how anyone could not remember you lovely words. Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Because You Are!)
    Philippians 4:8

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  25. this post has given me the perspective, the honesty i've been looking for. what really matters.

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  26. I know when I die I will be holy father.
    When I have kids I will tell them over and over again that I will be with God .To not be sad for me but to be happy for me.

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