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Love in the Past Tense

Colorectal cancer patient Derek K. Miller of Vancouver, Canada, who died in May, 2011, pre-wrote a last blog post, which friends posted for him.  In the post, he confesses that he doesn't believe there is anything after death:

"I haven't gone to a better place, or a worse one. I haven't gone anyplace, because Derek doesn't exist anymore. As soon as my body stopped functioning, and the neurons in my brain ceased firing, I made a remarkable transformation: from a living organism to a corpse, like a flower or a mouse that didn't make it through a particularly frosty night. The evidence is clear that once I died, it was over.

So I was unafraid of death—of the moment itself—and of what came afterwards, which was (and is) nothing."

He concludes his final post with these words:

"The world, indeed the whole universe, is a beautiful, astonishing, wondrous place. There is always more to find out. I don't look back and regret anything, and I hope my family can find a way to do the same.

What is true is that I loved them. Lauren and Marina, as you mature and become yourselves over the years, know that I loved you and did my best to be a good father.

Airdrie, you were my best friend and my closest connection. I don't know what we'd have been like without each other, but I think the world would be a poorer place. I loved you deeply, I loved you, I loved you, I loved you."

What a strange thing it is to write of one's feelings for loved ones using the past tense!  "I loved you, I loved you, I loved you" - a strange thing to write, and probably stranger yet for his wife and daughters to read.

How sad that this man could find no way to believe in life after death.  From the Christian standpoint (were that his standpoint), he could have written in the present tense.  For the assurance we have, in Romans 8, is that love is eternal.