Death, Thou Shalt Die: Dr Duane Arnold, PhD

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27 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    Such a good article, Duane, thank you.

    Are you familiar with the Ezekiel “Bones” reading (dramatically sung) that happens on the Good Friday service in Orthodox parishes? It’s the passage you referenced. It’s the high point of the whole year, almost.

  2. Xenia says:

    If only I didn’t live here.<<<

    I knew a lady, a real Eeyore type, who was very discontent. She always claimed that if they could just move to Oregon (or was it Washington?) she would be happy and her family would be happy, etc. They did in fact manage to move to this Promise Land of Oregon (or was it Washington?) and with a few years she was divorced, remarried, divorced again and her family dispersed.

    I know it's a trite saying but I believe in blooming where you are planted, where God has planted you.

  3. Michael says:

    Great article…especially for those of us living among dry bones.
    Thank you, Duane.

  4. Duane Arnold says:

    Xenia and Michael,

    Many thanks. Xenia, yes I know of the Good Friday reading. I always thought it a proper application of the passage from Ezekiel…

  5. Vicki McClellan says:

    Beautiful….and true. I’ve been struggling since my husband passed. But I have been angry at God for not answering my prayers and healing him. After all, the kids and grandkids and I still need him here. Help me understand.

  6. Duane Arnold says:


    First of all, please know that you will be in our prayers as you deal with such a devastating loss.

    There are no easy answers. It seems sometimes as though some prayers are answered and others are not, and we are left with asking, “Why?”. What I can say to you, is that God knows your heart and the pain, grief and loss that you are experiencing; that he loves you and weeps with you in this terrible time. While the pain will never go away completely, God will be with you and your family and will, I hope and pray, bring you to peace on the other side of this time…

  7. Michael says:


    Our condolences at your loss.
    The only way I make sense of all the pain is remembering that God didn’t write a book about suffering, He came and suffered with us.
    It doesn’t address all the “whys” but it gives me hope that no loss is permanent.

    I get angry with God at times as well…He can handle it.

  8. filbertz says:

    we will be marking our son Drew’s death shortly–two years ago May first–and your article dovetails nicely with our experience thus far.

  9. Duane Arnold says:

    #8 filbertz

    I’ve marked the date on my calendar… you and your family will certainly be remembered in my prayers…

  10. Michael says:


    You were the first person I thought of when Duane sent me this piece…my heart is with you and yours…

  11. Kevin H says:

    Duane, this is a beautiful article.

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    Many thanks, Kevin…

  13. John 20:29 says:

    I know that God’s perspective on death is a little different than ours, but i know too that our pain and grief matter to Him far more than we can understand down here …

    No easy answers for us indeed…. Amen to #6

  14. Tom says:

    “He never spoke of how the disease had been transmitted and I never asked. I cannot tell you whether Stephen was gay or straight, or whether he had received a tainted blood transfusion, or what happened. What I can tell you about Stephen is this: he was an athletic and handsome man of about thirty-five; he was at church every week; he took his degrees at Northwestern and at Oxford; he taught in the English department and we shared a love of poetry. He had a keen sense of humor and he took very good care of his elderly parents. He had a steady girlfriend named Christine. He was my friend and now he was gone.”

    God makes people. He does it fearfully and wonderfully. May we learn to love as He does. Thank you sir. Well written and thoughtful.

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    #14 Tom

    Indeed… many thanks.

  16. JoelG says:

    This is such a beautiful article that I will hang on to for the rest of my life.Thank you especially for:

    “Christ, however, comes to us in the reality of the “now”. He comes to us where we are. He weeps with us in our sorrow, He nails the “if only’s” of our yesterdays to the Cross and in the face of despair and death promises us resurrection and new life. You see, the death of our dreams, or the death of our bodies, is not the end, for death has been swallowed up in life… His life.”

  17. Duane Arnold says:

    #16 JoelG

    Thank you so much. So often when you write, especially personal experiences, you can only hope that they connect with a reader. I’m pleased it connected with you.

  18. Bart says:

    This wonderful article is spot on, and comes at a needed time in my family’s life.
    I was fired from my job last summer. I’m in sales, it happens. By September I had another gig lined up, we were just finishing the details of salary, commission, start date, etc
    Then I go in for a colonoscopy, 56 and hadn’t had one yet, wife made me go. Good thing. I had a 4cm, that’s like an inch and a half polyp in my large intestine. Two biopsies and no cancer. But I have to have major abdominal surgery to remove it. That’s scheduled late in October, and recovery will take me to at least Thanksgiving. There goes my new job. They aren’t going to wait for me that long.
    Five days after the last biopsie (end of September), I start bleeding internally and spend the next 4 days in the hospital.
    Laying in the hospital is where I first said, “Really Lord?”
    Then I had the surgery. Very successful and I’m healing nicely. I go in for my 2 week after surgery follow up and the surgeon tells me upon post operative inspection of the 8 inches they removed; a malignant 2mm tumor was discovered and further tests showed the cancer had spread to 1 lymphnode. My prognosis is good, my oncologist is confident, this chemo treatment has a very good success rate.
    “Really Lord?”
    I start a six month chemo treatment regimen the week before Christmas.
    Three days before Christmas we get a call from Washington State, where my wife’s mom lives and is in the last stages of mesothelioma. It’s hospice and they say if you want to see your mom you better come. I can’t go because of my chemo treatment, so our oldest daughter takes her and they spend the Christmas holiday there. Her mom makes a come back and is stronger when they left than when they arrived.
    They return the day after Christmas, also my second chemo treatment.
    Then by New Year’s weekend my wife feels like she is getting a cold. By New Year’s day she is running a 101 degree temp and is having a hard time breathing. A trip to ER, where she is admitted while still trying figure out what’s wrong. She is diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia, human Neuro virus and because all this is putting stress on the heart, congenital heart failure. A week in the hospital, she is sent home with oxygen and can’t work the rest of the month. My unemployment ran out the end of December and she was our only other source of income.
    “Really Lord?”
    My three kids step up and if it weren’t for them and a couple of friends, I don’t know where we would be right now.
    My wife is now off oxygen completely and is working full time from home. I just finished treatment 10 out of 12 and the end is in sight.
    Then we get the call Sunday that my wife’s mom has passed into heaven.
    “How much more Lord?”
    Throughout this whole ordeal, right after I think, “Really Lord?”, I then pray, “It’s all in Your hands and I trust that You will provide just what we need when we need it.
    Rent and utilities get paid and we have food on the table. How? Sometimes I just don’t know.
    Duane, your article came with words of wisdom at just the right time. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  19. filbertz says:

    Bart–those are hard-fought words of wisdom and insight. Thank you.

  20. Captain Kevin says:

    Duane, filbertz and Bart, I feel like I should say something profound and helpful. But I keep hearing, “Kevin, be still. Be quiet.”

  21. Bart says:

    Cap’n Kevin,
    Just knowing you have us in your thoughts and prayers is enough.
    Thank you.

  22. Duane Arnold says:

    #18 Bart

    You and your family will be much in my prayers in the days to come. There is no apparent answer to “Why?” It seems to me, however, that Christ has been present in this wilderness journey – present in giving you strength, present in the love of your wife, present in your children and friends, present in your faith… Thank you for sharing this. I think it provides a perspective that many of us need. God bless…

  23. dusty says:

    Praying for Bart, Duane, filbertz, and Vicki

  24. Duane Arnold says:

    Thank you, Dusty…

  25. John 20:29 says:

    FWIW… I am a bit simple minded and whenever i get hit with an “unfair” trial or sorrow for some reason a picture comes to mind of satan before the Lord saying, in so many words, “I’ll bet I can destroy your servant Job!” Captain K’s instinct was better than Job’s friends.
    I was blessed to read both Dr. Duane’s post and Bart’s.
    Joining in the prayers for those here so in need of God’s mercies and strength now…
    The devil seems to be increasing his activity, but at the risk of wearing out a truth, greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world

  26. Duane Arnold says:

    #25 Em

    “Captain K’s instinct was better than Job’s friends.”

    Yes, indeed! We have too many “Job’s comforters” around these days…

  27. dusty says:

    Captain kevin, you are such a kind friend!
    I pray for you often.

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