• Steve McAtee

The Death of Death - An Observation From the Bunker

Updated: Mar 5, 2018




Personal journal entry September 29, 2014


Through the night, my soul longs to find you, Jack. Deep from within me, my spirit reaches out to the One who knew everything about you before you were born. As the morning dew catches the first rays of sun and Peak One bursts with life, if you are up there on the mountain, dead, then I know that God has given you a second birth. And if you are alive, I know that you know that God forever searches for us till the end of time. I hereby vow to search until we find you. It may be tomorrow when we find you; it may be next week, next month, a year, longer… Perhaps a lifetime.But I will find you because I will stop at nothing. And when I find you, I will hold you in my arms like I did when you were newly born. And God, for my sake, knowing that you love me, reach down and help me–answer me. Where is Jack? Hold me Lord, hold me.


Do you recall the desperation you felt when you started down the road toward the loss of your beloved? There was nothing you would not do to prevent what was to come. Perhaps you were alone like I was in a dark studio condo in Breckenridge, Colorado, directing the search for my son. Alone in desperate contemplation, it’s painful to relive our experiences of desperation, especially if the situation yielded us time to consider what we could possible do to thwart the death of the one we love, the one so close to our heart. The child we lovingly raised, the spouse with whom we spent a lifetime, the parent that shaped our life, the friend that truly loved us. It’s hard. It’s dark. It’s sad and much of the time bitter when we look back and relive what we went thru leading up to the death. No doubt you did everything possible. And then, the inevitable, the actual news reaches your ears, and you sit in utter disbelief–traumatized. Your cherished one has left you. Your heart pumps tears. The lights go out.

Remember the eclipse of the sun in the summer of 2017? Our family gathered in a semicircle of folding chairs put around a beautiful Colorado Spruce tree planted high on a hill at the farm in memory of Jack. Experiencing the total eclipse of the sun was unnerving. At first, a perfectly beautiful clear blue sky. A gentle wind. Birds singing. Hundreds of leafy Oak trees reflecting a beautiful lush green hue. Our lake several hundred feel below us in full view with giant grass carp swimming along the top like a pod of whales. A dozen horses perched throughout the valley below arching downward to pull more fresh grass. Like a dream, there we sat. Waiting. Contemplating the reason we were there at Jack’s tree. Not outside just anywhere, but at his tree, telling hilarious stories about him, laughing. And there was some crying also. The friendly loving chatter soon gave way to silence as crystal clear light from the sun subtly began to draw a deep dark blueness in the sky. The bird’s symphony of song became silent, the horses raised their heads and pranced around nervously, the pod of grass carp in the lake seemed to just stay in one position. Then it came. It was like the sky had snapped a lens cover onto the sun. Total darkness. Like it was when we first heard the news. We were designed for light, but this darkness racing toward us unnerves us.


Unnerved, but are we to be undone as well? A part of you has passed away. But much of the person we loved is carried within us and will be as long as we are here. Every day we can celebrate how our lives are shaped by the ones we miss. But we have good reason not to become undone because death does not have the final word. As I look up today. the lens cap has been taken off the sun. I'm reminded thatJesus’s willful sacrificial death was an offering, an offering for the death-dealing sins of the world…a death that conquered death. The death of death.


In this I feel his joy, staring into galaxies, I hear a gentle voice say, "Take hope."


“I called on your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea:"

“Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.”

"You came near when I called you, and said, “Do not fear.

LAMENTATIONS 3:55-57

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