There’s a big news story going on locally about a woman who was murdered in her home over the weekend. The authorities think she may have come upon a burglar in her home and was killed. The alleged suspect stole her car and then was caught on videotape using her credit cards at some store. Just another story of senseless violence that makes us all shake our heads and wonder about the evil that takes place in the world; that is, until we turn on Southern Fried Home Videos and laugh at some of the lunacy that goes in the world as well. This time it was different though---we know the murder victim.
Ruth Ouverson worked at the Rockford Elementary School along with Mocha-momma. MM has known her for years, and she was a guiding force during the first few years of our kids going to public schools. She was the early childhood development coordinator in the district, and we attended some of her seminars, even before MM started working there. She also helped direct us to Christian teachers in the school. We tried homeschooling with JR; but it turned out not to be a good fit for him or MM. So Ruth was there to guide us to teachers who she thought were compatible with our beliefs, and we appreciated that immensely, because we were very satisfied with the individuals she recommended. MM respected this woman greatly as a friend, co-worker, educator, and just for the fantastic human being that she was.
I don’t have much experience when it comes to death; not like combat veterans, police, firemen, EMT’s, doctors, nurses, etc. I’ve been to the funerals of my grandparents and a few uncles, along with some other acquaintances; but the worst experience was when my niece/goddaughter died from Leukemia at age 25. (I actually went to a wake on a first date one time; on the way to the restaurant she wanted to stop and pay her respects) The events over the last week though have stimulated some thoughts on dying.
Is there really any good way to die? We find it horrific and sad that Ruth was murdered, and it is a tragedy; but, we had a dear neighbor who lived across the street from us die unexpectedly from a brain aneurism---which is sadder? The people who lost loved ones in the bridge collapse, is it any harder because it was a freak accident? There are so many ways to die, and short of dying in your sleep at the age of 100, they pretty much all suck as far as I’m concerned. I don’t necessarily have a fear of dying myself, knowing what most of us know about the promises of God and the gift that Jesus gives us; but, that doesn’t mean I don’t like living in the here and now, enjoying time with my wife, children, relatives and friends. Any event leading to death, short of the rapture, that would take me away from the ones I love is unwelcome, whatever form it might take.