Where the Roses Never Fade

This past week, the world was stunned to hear of the tragic death of movie star, Paul Walker and his best friend, Roger Rodas. The media was in a frenzy, trying to validate the facts or to quickly squash the rumor i it turned out to be a hoax. Fans of the movie “Fast and Furious” quickly turned to social media to express their grief, mourning and sadness. Such a sad day indeed.

Grief.  Loss.          I think we all have experienced the loss of something or someone in our lives that has broken our hearts into a million pieces, shattered beyond repair.We as human beings start the process of “losing” things that are important to us, from the minute we are born, lasting until the time we die.     Babies cry when the pacifier that has been their BFF for their entire “life”, is taken away. They mourn the loss of the bottle filled with warm milk at bedtime. As a young child, they loss the security of being with their mother or father, as the yellow school bus pulls up at the bus stop.  As the years go by, as teenagers, they have their heart broken and devastated by the break-up of their boyfriend/girlfriend.       Adulthood brings with it the reality of losses of different types; jobs, houses, marriages, empty nests, ….on and on the list goes.  Loss.  Even Jesus himself wept at the loss of his friend Lazarus upon hearing of his death……..which proves to us that no one escapes the feelings associated with losing what is important to us.

I, too, have experienced the loss of siblings, my parents, friends and my beloved Jack Russell Terrier, Annabelle. I mourned for my family, for each member that slipped quietly away……people validated my sorrow, offered support and love as those of us left behind coped with our grief. Things were different when I lost Annabelle. Very few people understood my sadness, my grief…my loss…over a “dog”. She had been a part of my life for over 15 years….her grumpy moods, demanding bark and loved- filled eyes were all a part of my expectations each time I opened my front door upon returning home. I loved her very much…..and in a dog-kind-of-way….she loved me back.

Being raised in the church and taught about a place called “heaven”, made the losses of each family member a little easier. I know that my loved ones have “crossed Jordan” and are in a wonderful place. A place where they will never experience loss, hurt, pain or sadness ever again.

As I grieved Annabelle, someone gave me a copy of the poem “Rainbow Bridge”….which is a place similar to Heaven….but doggy style….. It’s a place where dogs run about scampering and playing with other dogs. A place where they never get old, a place where they never become sick, a place where they can run and play fetch forever……while they wait for their owners.  Reading the poem brought contentment to my heart, not totally replacing the loss, but it allowed my minds eye to see past the loss…to see that she too is no longer suffering, no longer an old grump Jack with aches and pains……but she is young, happy and free….and able to chase the cats she hated so much.

You see, I think we all need to have hope during a period of loss. Hope that we will be reunited with our loved ones….hope that the Rainbow Bridge is a real place……hopes that the pain we feel from our losses…will one day be replaced with eternal, continual joy. Without hope, we are all destined to a life of misery, sadness and grief. 

In my line of work, death is a frequent occurrence. We, as health care workers, console, hug and provide support to the family members sitting at the bedside of their loved one. We can in no way change the outcome of the situation. We nod in agreement as the daughter says, “Daddy will soon be done suffering, he will be with Jesus.” We smile softly at the son who holds his mother’s hand and says, “She would not have wanted to live this way, I hope God calls her home soon…..”   Loss. Grief.  Yet hope.


Back in the days of my childhood, my family would sing a song  about a “city where the roses never fade”. The words went something like this:

“I am going to a city,
Where the streets with gold are laid,
Where the tree of life is blooming,
And the roses never fade.

Here they bloom but for a season;
Soon their beauty is decayed.
I am going to a city,
Where the roses never fade.

In this world we have our troubles,
Satan snares we must evade.
We’ll be free from all temptations,
Where the roses never fade.

Loved one’s gone to be with Jesus,
In their robes of white arrayed.
They are waiting for my coming,
Where the roses never fade.

Here they bloom but for a season;
Soon their beauty is decayed.
I am going to a city,
Where the roses never fade.

O I am going to a city….
Where the roses never fade…”                    ( Written in 1929 by Janie West Metzgar).

Hope.    Whether it’s Heaven, the Rainbow Bridge or Ghost in the sky…….we all need hope.


2 thoughts on “Where the Roses Never Fade

  1. Pingback: Roses That Never Fade

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