In the last post, Until death do us Part, the old couple began to contemplate on death and bereavement. Continuing to speak about death, the couple in their 70’s and 80’s are now passing through the valley of shadow of death (Psalm 23:4). They fear death and certainly fear the death of the partner. Both could be equally intimidating.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm. 23:4, ESV).
The valley of shadow of death is not truly the valley of death, but only the valley of death’s shadow. You may be fit and healthy or ailments may bother you – regardless of the physical condition, your emotional body may begin to perceive the fear of nearing the end as you step into the 70’s. You will have to leave your children, grandchildren, and that one dear soul you’ve been with for the most of your life!
If one of the partners lives through illness and pain, his or her death could be even more fearful. Of all the years you’ve lived together, it is this phase of your relationship which makes you wish God really walked with your suffering spouse. For one last time your faith in God, the sheperd, can blossom from the bottom of your emotional turmoils. And it is in this phase of your relationship that you want to stay ever-together with each other though you know the end is just around the corner. In his book, ‘Though I Walk The Valley’, author Vance Havner says,
“Count no day unimportant if you still have each other,
for the day will come when you would give everything for just one day,
any ordinary day, you once shared together.”
Wisely-lived are those couples who transcend the fear of death and death of the partner. A married relationship is not only about living together under the same roof but also evolving together in each other; in the faith of God or a higher source. You can still be happy knowing that you will leave everything and everyone sooner. And you can remain strong and wise even as you understand that your love shall not shine forever.
If you haven’t reached your old age yet, you have a choice.
How do you want to see death when you near it?
Blessed are those who get the love and support of their children or friends while walking through the valley of shadow of death. You as an old couple may have much to pour out to your loved ones. The irony is that your progeny generation might be going through midlife crisis or just too busy with their families and career. And your voice may be too low for them to hear. Yet, the helpless you (or the wise you) continue to live in the shelter of each other, counting the days and speculating whose turn would be the first.
As you read this post, if the words touched something about your parents, take a pause; reach out to them even if it is just a hello or how are you. And you know the rest.
P.S. I’ve been contemplating about relationships and death in the last few days before writing this post. And when I heard the news of the sudden demise of a good blogger friend, Alok Singhal, it felt like a bad coincidence. Saru and Alok are a well-known blogger couple in the Indian Blogosphere. It is sad that Alok had to leave her this early in life. May God give her and family strength and support.
Header Image Courtesy – Helwys Society Forum
Old Couple Laughing – Lifehack
Other posts in the A to Z series: