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Death, Where is thy Sting?

by Rev. Dr. Rainbow Johnson

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

— I Corinthians 15:55

Death has nothing to do with life everlasting, and is but an impatient gesture of the soul, wishing to rid itself of a body no longer useful.

— The Science of Mind, page 478

Death, Where is thy Sting?

Cleocatra was the most beautiful cat I had ever seen. She literally chose my daughter and me to be her family. She was a tiny, pure white mite when we brought her home, and on the first night, when kittens usually cry for their mothers, she crawled in bed with me, licked me from head to toe, and purred vociferously. Then she went upstairs and did the same thing for my daughter, Rainbow-Shalom. She was an angel who blessed our lives with unconditional love and joy. She only lived ten months, however, slowly growing thinner and thinner. No one, vets included, knew what to do. We spent lots of time with her, loving her and being loved by her as much as possible.

One hot summer day, I came home late. She was waiting for me under my favorite chair. When she saw me, she weakly reached for me. I picked her up and she died in my arms. I was overcome with grief. Then, all at once, a beautiful calm came over me, a peace that passes understanding. A few days later my daughter, our friend Pat, and I decided to hold a funeral for Cleo. After driving around for hours, we decided to bury Cleo in Pat’s back yard. There I was, in the midnight, in my minister’s black robe, digging a grave and performing a funeral service for a cat!

During the service, in which we all participated, we realized something. The date was July 2. That was the day my son Eric had died many years before. And July 2 was the anniversary of Pat’s father’s death. It was not by chance that the three of us were gathered together on that particular night.

Today I know deep within my heart that there is no distance between souls. I release those who have gone before. I release those who have gone to prepare a place for me. I release them with love. I release them with freedom, and get on with my life. Thank You, Father.

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