When Will You Die?

Mel Ekholm.jpg

It was a Wednesday.  

I had just finished an impromptu meeting with some of my staff when my children’s pastor, Steve, casually said, “Hey guys I need to head home for a few minutes. I’ve called my wife a few times and she hasn’t answered. See you later.” 

A few minutes later I was still talking with our youth pastor in his office my cell phone rang.

It was Steve. He was hysterical.

Through his sobbing I somehow summarized what he was saying. I heard it, yet couldn’t believe it.

“Pastor Ken, Pastor Ken please come and help…Please.  I think my wife’s dead. I found her in the bathtub lying face down under the water. I’ve pulled her out…she’s on the floor. But I think she’s dead. I don’t know what to do…Oh…Please come …Please come and help.”

I rushed to Steve’s house, arriving first on the scene. Ran upstairs, and there on the bathroom floor Steve was kneeling over his wife.

I started CPR. No response.

I continued. No response. The medics arrived and started trying to revive her. I stood in the doorway; watching, praying, hoping, wishing. The medic leaning over Mel’s body caught my eye, and with a shake of his head, signaled she was dead. 

Mel had suffered from epilepsy. Over the years this mean and twisted disease had worsened, arriving more frequently and acting more violently. This last visit, would be its last.  

Melanie Sue Ekholm left behind her husband Steve, her three year old son, Isaiah, her parents and two older sisters, and many, many dear friends.

She was only thirty-seven.  

In my message at Melanie’s memorial service, I made this statement about death;

We might be surprised how death happens, or we might be surprised when death happens, but we all know death is going to happen.”

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m not suggesting we should be fixated on death. Life is a gift to be savored. However, “Readiness to die is the first step in learning to live.”

So are you living today like you’re going to die…because one day you will.

If I can help you live with greater purpose, I’d be honored to do so. https://www.kenlroberts.com/kenlrobertslives

Living On Purpose:


The above is an excerpt from my new book Focus: A Practical Guide To A Fruitful Life. It will be released April, 2019.