Families and Friends of Christ Our Redeemer,

Angeline O’Grady’s husband Brian died from cancer.  She then undertook a labor of love by traveling to England to scatter his ashes in Hull, the city where he grew up.  She was surprised when the federal security people at the airport told her she couldn’t take the boxed ashes on board with her.  Instead of carrying the ashes, she was told to put them in her checked luggage.  O’Grady did as she was told, adding a sticker to her case which read “Fragile.”

The flight went well, the luggage was recovered, and O’Grady went to her sister-in-law’s home.  It was there she found out her husband’s ashes had disappeared.  Everything was in her suitcase except for the ashes.  Someone, somewhere had gone into her suitcase and stolen a box filled with gray ashes.  O’Grady immediately called the airport and had them begin a search.  The remains are still missing.

This had to be frustrating for a wife attempting to fulfill a final request for her husband.  We can understand how she keeps wondering why a person would do such a thing.  We are saddened at the possibility of an individual who is looking for closure and may never find it.

If I were this lady’s pastor, how might I try to comfort her?  I might begin with Psalm 139:7-12.  “Where shall I go from Your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from Your presence?  If I make my bed in the depths, You are there!  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.  If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night, even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with You.” 

She can be comforted by the same hope Jesus gives to all who mourn those who die with faith in Him.  There is comfort which says her husband was not in that stolen box.  When Brian breathed his last in this world, Jesus took him to the next.  There is comfort which says because of the Savior’s sacrifice it is not necessary to have final closure.  In Christ, there will be an unending reunion for all who believe.  There is comfort which says the Lord knows where her husband is.  There is no place any person can go which will enable him to escape the Creator’s caring eye.  Finally, there is comfort which says her husband is and always will be with his Savior.  To those who say, “That’s not enough,” I can only reply on the contrary.  When death comes, the comfort the crucified and risen Christ alone can give is everything.


From one who is never out of God’s reach,

Pastor Steve