What Good Grief Looks Like When a Daughter Dies
Death has a way of convincing us of what matters in life. It shuts up our squabbles and complaints. What really matters about the future is our bodily resurrection—not harps and clouds, not celestial music and comfort.
That is my hope, and that is my faith, and there are reasons I hold to this. It is not a blind or illogical faith, or one unfounded on evidence. I hold to this not simply because Jesus rose from the grave but also because I remember that Jesus raised Jairus's daughter from the dead. I can hear him say at the end times to my Christy girl, Talitha kumi—"Little girl, arise!"
Although I am tearing up as I write this, Paul's words remind me that it's okay to have tears in our eyes as long as we have hope in our hearts.
Ben Witherington is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. The Christy Ann Witherington scholarship has been set up in her memory at Asbury Seminary. To make a tax-deductible contribution, contact Jay Endicott at the seminary.
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Download Ben Witherington's new eBook, When a Daughter Dies, now available at CTeBooks.com.
Previous Christianity Today articles on grief, death, and dying include:
Owning Redemptive Grief after the Ohio School Shooting | Instead of speculating on why T.J. Lane killed three of his classmates, we are better off asking how to grief the tragedy rightly. (Her.meneutics, March 1, 2012)
Why a Funeral Is Not the Time to Rejoice | We can let this season of Lent be Lent, so that Easter can be Easter. (Her.meneutics, February 29, 2012)
Boundaries in Grief | Why medicine should never trade places with a time to properly mourn. (August 20, 2010)
A Culture of Resurrection | How the church can help its people die well. (June 7, 2010)