Death recently taught me (again) that words can fail us.
This is a hard fact for me to accept. Here's why: words are my medium. And Metaphors and similes "are my favorite" (That's a quote from my favorite elf. I know, it's not Christmas, and you probably haven't seen Elf in 10 months, but just roll with it.)
Metaphors and similes work for situations like these:
But sometimes nothing works: metaphors and similes can't explain death. They can't justify loss. They can't make you feel better, and they can rarely make you grateful in the midst of a tragic circumstance.
I recently lost someone incredible. When my aunt passed, countless people felt it. There are few words that can describe the lives she changed, the incredible amount of love in her heart, or the difference she made. The lives of those who knew her, though, are living metaphors for the type of person she was.
Time and time again, as I looked around at my family, it hit me: no words can help when you lose someone. The best thing you can do is just stand beside someone, sit with them, grieve with them, eat with them, and love them. I kept thinking: what would my aunt do, and what would Jesus do?
They would both acknowledge that actions indeed do speak louder than words. Metaphors help. But they don't get us all the way there.
Death is not a respecter of persons: It doesn't respect us, or those around us. The only thing death respects is God. And when we turn to him, we find the greatest metaphor of all: Christ with us, among us, in the mundane that follows the unexpected and the unexplainable.