Keith Shorter: The Most Difficult Journey

When the phone rings at 4:30 a.m., it’s rarely good news. I picked up the phone and heard a familiar voice — my brother Larry.

“Keith, this is Larry. I’m calling to tell you goodbye. The doctors say I’m not going to make it.”

My wife and I were at a pastors’ conference in Jacksonville, Fla. We got up, packed our things and headed to Duke University Medical Center, not knowing if we would get there in time.

Throughout the day as we traveled, I kept getting calls from Larry’s daughters and wife. “Are you guys getting close? Well, hurry.” Then an hour or two later, “Are you guys getting close?

Get here as fast as you can.” Each time they sounded a little more anxious than the last.

When I finally walked into Larry’s room that evening, I was grateful that we had a chance to talk for a few minutes and say our goodbyes. Within an hour or so, he was in the presence of Jesus.

Anniversaries are usually happy occasions — unless it is the anniversary of someone’s death. Jan. 26 of this year will mark the one-year anniversary of Larry’s passing. It’s still hard to believe that this special man is gone.

If you have lost someone you loved and are facing the anniversary of their death in 2019, my heart goes out to you. Your loss is real and your life is different than it used to be.

This year those days that used to be special, like holidays and birthdays, can be emotional landmines. I call it “the year of firsts.” That first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first birthday

without your loved one can be especially difficult to get through. Prepare yourself ahead of time for the grief that will come gushing out on those days. Read your Bible and draw strength from it. Try to end the day by thanking God for the time that you did have with that special person.

Click here to read more.
Source: Baptist Press