Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Meaningless

My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 2:10b–11

My brother Greg died late Saturday. It was a meaningless, unnecessary death, a tragic accident.

Since then, I haven’t been able to keep him out of my mind – all the things that he worked so hard to achieve (the perfect lawn, the lovely hosta garden) the material possessions he accumulated (two motorcycles, a boat, his massage chair) – all are now meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

All night I saw him walking, walking, walking. Greg had a unique gait, his knees bending slightly out with each stride. Unable to sleep in my grief, I saw him walking as I did daily in the halls of the company, coming to visit me in my cubicle. I will miss him so much when I return to the office. I used to have long talks with him daily. He wasn’t only my brother – my favorite brother of the three I have – he was also a coworker and friend. I will miss his tremendous wealth of knowledge, his generous spirit, his willingness to help.

The entire work group at our company is shocked and dazed. Greg was gregarious and well liked. Not only did they lose a coworker; another coworker is part of the grieving family! I’m out on leave because of death in the family; he is the family who died.

…and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Ecclesiastes 12:7

Funeral preparations are keeping me busy; the kids are doing homeschool only part-time. They help cheer my parents in their grief by spending time there. Tomorrow, when the key to Greg's house arrives in overnight mail, the kids will come with me to his house capture Greg's timid cat and bring it to my parents' house. And I have to try to find Greg's will. I know he had one - but where?? Meanwhile, my sister is still working on shipping his body from the Midwest back home in the Northeast.

All those possessions, that perfect lawn that he labored over – meaningless!

“Utterly meaningless. Everything is meaningless.” What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 1:2–3

3 comments:

Pam said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your borther. I will continue to keep the family in my prayers...

The Reluctant Homeschooler said...

Thanks, Pam. We are really hurting. It's great that Greg and I worked together because our coworkers are rallying around me, helping prepare photos as they themselves grieve. They'll even go clean up my brother's lawn after the windstorm a few days ago left lots of branches in his yard, which has 40 trees. Greg lived alone; now the house is empty...

a kelly said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. So sad, yet you are so eloquent even in your grief.
God Bless
Alexsandra

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)