Monday, December 14, 2009
Beloved son. Only brother. Favorite uncle. Faithful friend. Nephew, cousin, co-worker, neighbor, boss, roommate, ex-boyfriend. Bryan was a lot of things to a lot of people. Those labels can never capture WHO he was. Not completely. Each season of his life, each role he played, each hat he wore were only small pieces of who Bryan David Klungreseter TRULY was. My Momma's tender hearted little boy. The only son who would carry on my Daddy's name. My only sibling, the one who knew all about me and loved me anyway. My children's most bestest Uncle B. Bryan David Klungreseter died this night last year. His heart stopped beating and he breathed his last on December 14, 2008.
I don't like the words associated with death. "One Year Anniversary" of his death? Anniversary is a happy word--I think of celebrations and nice greeting cards. Anniversary isn't right. "Passed away"? Where is "away"? I don't get that. I "lost" my brother a year ago? I didn't lose him, I know where Bryan is. All the words I try to wrap around this year are incomplete. Just like obituaries and sympathy cards and pithy statements about the meaning of pain and death. No wonder people have a hard time talking to those who are mourning and grieving. The vocabulary for this stuff is lame. But I can't offer any better substitutions today. Death just stinks.
I never used to read obituaries. I don't like to dwell on sad things. A self-protective mechanism, I guess. I don't like to get emotional in front of other people, to expose my heart. This year, I didn't have a choice. Sad things were a daily part of my day. Missing Bryan. I began reading the words that those who are aching for their loved ones wrote in the final words of an obituary. It was then that I realized that words can never cut it. Even though I love words. All kinds of words. Poetry, song lyrics, a well-spoken phrase, a good book, a poignant play/movie line, a verse of Scripture. But no matter how expressive, accurate or suitable the words, they do not contain the ability, the magical capacity, to completely tell the story or capture a moment or describe a person's impact on another's life.
Maybe that is why after years of giving His Words to His children through every means; prophecy, visions, dreams, angels and the Pentateuch, the Word of God became flesh and made His dwelling among us. A flesh and blood baby boy. His final Word--Emmanuel--God with Us. The three-dimensional, walking, talking Word that finally expressed ALL that God had been trying to show and tell us with His words. Jesus.
The things that tortured me the days following Bryan's death do not torment me today. I am not undone by the thought of him dying alone in his home. I know that he was not alone--He was there with him. I know that with every fiber of my being. Not because I am superspiritual or because Bryan confirmed this from the other side. God's Word promises this; Jesus promised to NEVER leave or forsake my brother. Or me. Or you, if you are His. Bryan did nothing to earn Heaven. No one can. It was a free gift that Bryan accepted in 2007. So the circumstances of his death or even the manner in which he lived his final weeks don't really matter, because God's Son did all that was needed to purchase a non-refundable ticket into Heaven, eternal life with His Father, for Bryan. For Me. For you? His grace alone saved my brother from everything that I fear when I think of death. Horrible death.
The Son of man came to seek and save that which was lost. My God is the God who saves. He does not leave us alone to struggle and despair in this hard world alone, without Hope. Without Peace. That is why Jesus was born in a filthy barn into a messed up world on that quiet night long ago. We need Him more than He needs us; our good deeds, our righteousness, our every effort to earn salvation--none of it matters--only Jesus matters. God with us. The God who saves. He relentlessly pursued my brother with His love, He never gave up on him. In the end, He carried my brother to the other side, to his real home, where Bryan is feasting at the Table with the King. Not because Bryan deserved it, who does? The Savior did all the work. When Bryan was weak and broken and lame, his gentle Savior carried him home and seated him at the table of the Lord. Bryan is feasting as I type. 2 Samuel 9
Many times in the last months I have rejoiced for my brother because he is with Jesus. Tonight I envy him. I can't even imagine, and I have a wild imagination, what Bryan is experiencing this VERY moment. I miss you brother. I do not wish you were here with me. I wish I were there with you.
Until you carry me home Jesus, I will run my race, looking toward the finish line, waiting eagerly for the prize--You! Forever and for eternity. With You. You carried Bryan. Trusting You to carry each one of us Home. To You. Forever and for eternity.
This is what faith is, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. You have given me this faith, Lord. Faith in You and Your Promise. I believe and I won't stop believing. Not even this year could take that from me. Thank You for Faith. For Hope. For Love. For Peace. For Truth. For Your Presence. "Thank You"--two more words that just don't cut it.
Bryan David Klungreseter
With Us: February 5, 1972
With God: December 14, 2008
Playing right now on the Playlist:
Leeland "Carried to the Table"
Wounded and forsaken
I was shattered by the fall
Broken and forgotten
Feeling lost and all alone
Summoned by the King
Into the Master’s courts
Lifted by the Savior
And cradled in His arms
I was carried to the table
Seated where I don’t belong
Carried to the table
Swept away by His love
And I don’t see my brokenness anymore
When I’m seated at the table of the Lord
I’m carried to the table
The table of the Lord
Fighting thoughts of fear
And wondering why He called my name
Am I good enough to share this cup
This world has left me lame
Even in my weakness
The Savior called my name
In His Holy presence
I’m healed and unashamed
You carried me, my God
You carried me
Posted by Reilly Fitzpatrick at 7:01 PM