All posts tagged: Death

My Father Died: Where do I go from here?

I don’t like to write about personal things here, but this was a shock to me. I got a message from my sister that Dad was failing, in his nursing home, and we needed to say goodbye. That was Sunday, and he lasted until Monday afternoon. I am waiting for the funeral to start as I write this, If you are wondering, I’m doing well. Dad was 95 and he lived a good life. He finally died from old age, and not from any accident or illness. In this pandemic year, when everyone seems to be angry about politics, my Dad reminded me that I have a personal life. Dad gave us a stable family and a heritage to be proud of. When I was a boy, we visited the home farm and Dad pointed at a local cemetery and said” Simon Fraser is buried there.” The huge city of Vancouver is on the Fraser River, and in the suburbs is Simon Fraser University. That famous man was a neighbor near the family farm, on …

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (L to R): Death, Famine, War and Conquest. by Victor Mikhailovich Vasnetsox (1848-1926) Credit: Wikipedia/Creative Commons/{{PD-US}}

Yemen and the First Horseman of the Apocalypse

Did you know that the world has a huge war right now, involving millions of people? The best estimate is that twenty-two million people are directly affected by the war, and two million children are at risk from severe malnutrition. There is a real danger that the war could expand in the region, and there are reports of long-range missiles landing in wealthy countries in the Persian Gulf. RELATED: Yemeni Civil War I live far away from this civil war in Yemen, and the both sides are Arab Muslims, so I can’t criticize one faction or take sides. I know that the suffering is terrible and the UN sees no end in sight. Apparently no one is winning this “Vietnam War” of the Middle East. Did you know this war was happening? Many people in the world know nothing about it. The fighting started in March of 2015 and soon after that foreign powers intervened, or invaded. Saudi Arabia and Iran are powerful nations in the region and they are on opposite sides, with the …

Folsom Prison, California Credit: Vidor/Wikipedia and Charles Manson Credit: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/Wikipedia

Who Died and Who Didn’t

David Cassidy was the poster boy for teenage girls around the world, about thirty years ago. He has lived a show-business life, with failed marriages and a serious addiction to alcohol. In 2015 he declared bankruptcy. On November 19 2017, the news came out that he was in a coma, with multiple organ failures, and his family was gathering at the hospital. The doctors said he didn’t have long. This morning, November 20, the news is that David Cassidy has regained consciousness and he is very much alive. If his condition improves so that he can see a computer screen, he can read on the Internet that he died yesterday. Someone posted information about his death, in anticipation. I don’t know how much time he has with us, but good for him, he outlived his obituary. One person who did die yesterday, at the age of 83, in Bakersfield California, is Charles Manson. This is confirmed; born November 12 1934 and died November 19, 2017. RELATED: Charles Manson dead: CNN This was a truly terrible …

Canadian World War II cemetery in Holland. Dad left behind friends in Holland as he helped liberate the Netherlands from the Nazi occupation. Credit: VAC | ACC/Flickr/Creative Commons

Goodbye dad

I have not cried more than I did during the several days as we (my sister and our families) sat vigil as my dad, Ray, slowly died from cancer. A World War II vet, he was two months short of 97 years old. He served as an advanced scout for the Canadian military, meaning he travelled behind enemy lines looking for the German troops. As a young boy, I loved to listen to his war stories. Though 97 he was still living independently in the same retirement home where my mom was under care. My dad died a few days after they celebrated their 71st anniversary. Doctor’s had diagnosed him with colon cancer  two years earlier, and after surgery believed they had caught everything. Dad was a tough guy. Two years earlier at 92 he had open heart surgery to replace a valve. He was supposed to be in the hospital for a week, but they let him out early because he had recovered so fast. Meanwhile, people 40 years younger were still in the …

Grandpa as a young man in the Canadian army and a photo a month and a half before he died.

What I learned from my grandfather

[by Ian Smith] Yesterday, the world lost a strong, brave and caring gentleman. Raymond Smith was my grandfather and I  respected him tremendously. He was a World War II veteran and assisted in the liberation of Holland. Another notable instance from the war was his participation in The Battle of The Bulge. This was the last major offense by the Nazi German forces. It took place from December 16, 1944 till January 25, 1945.   Meaning he spent Christmas cold, tired and faced with the possibility of losing his friends or his very life. Nobody should have to spend Christmas like that and he fought to make sure that no one else would.  A couple of years ago he needed to have surgery to remove a large portion of his large intestine due to cancer. Unfortunately this was around Christmas again. Since this was major surgery on a man in his early 90’s it was fairly serious. As many family as possible came and visited with him while he was confined to the hospital. One …

Central Java, Indonesia Photo: Piyaphon Phemtaweepon/Flickr

Dealing with fear

In December 2001, Pastor You Yong was praying in his church in Magetan, Indonesia when members of the Laskar Jihad army surrounded the church and kidnapped the Christian pastor. Pastor You had started a small church in 1996 and it grew to over 100 people. The majority of the congregation were converts from Islam. The Muslims were outraged. Indonesia has a population of about 250 million and 85% are Muslim. In a couple of provinces, they have even managed to set up Sharia law. Though Christians only make up 12% of the population, they are the fastest growing religion in Indonesia. Yong’s church was part of that growth. The Muslims complained to local authorities that Yong was causing disharmony. When they were put off, the Islamic leaders called in the Laskar Jihad army to deal with the situation. The Jihadists threw a bag over Yong’s head and dragged him off for interrogation. They beat and threatened Yong. They held a machete to his neck and Yong thought he was going to die. But during this …

Finding the right path through despair. Photo aha42 | tehaha/Foter/CC BY-NC

Finding your way through the valley of despair

Recently, in a Sunday morning message, a friend shared about the loss of his two-year old grandson to cancer. Doctors diagnosed Lucien with leukemia early in his first year.  Cancer treatments and long hospital stays were the norm for this family. The promise of remission brought hope. Sadly, the cancer returned. Two years, two months and two days from his birth, Lucien passed. The prayer and support Lucien’s family received from their church and community during this time was phenomenal. Lucien, in his short time on earth, had become a celebrity in his own right. As well, his young and talented parents became well-known as they bravely fought their greatest battle sharing their journey through Facebook, photos and videos. Their Celtic music brought them reprieve in the dark days following their son’s passing. Gary, the grandfather, shared about the decision he personally faced following his grandson’s death. The family fought the hardest battle of their lives as they hoped, prayed and fasted for Lucien’s recovery. The previous two years had taken every ounce of emotional, …

Do Gospel singers have the safest and best lives?

[by Dean Smith] According to a report by Dianna Theodora Kenny of various musical genres, Gospel singers have the safest and best lives. Kenny is a professor of Psychology and Music at Australia’s University of Sydney. In her study, reported in The Telegraph, Kenny tracked the deaths of 12,665 musicians between 1950 and June 2014. The singers represented 14 different musical genres including gospel, rap, country, rock, metal, punk and pop. She broke their cause of death into basic categories — the top five being accidental, suicide, homicide, heart and cancer.

Scientists see glimpses of life after death

[by Dean Smith] Over the years, there have been many reports of people, who having died and come back to life, claiming they had seen a light or had an awareness they were still alive even though they had died. This always puzzled scientists since 20 to 30 seconds after the heart quits pumping blood, the brain stops functioning. So if a person’s heart has stopped how could they have any sense of consciousness. Researchers at the University of Southampton in England decided to study this phenomena further. In 2008, they analyzed 2,060 cases from 15 hospitals in England, Austria and the US of people who had cardiac arrest.