“I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” ~
I used to be quite amused at my father, in a morbid sort of way. My father was one of the many who went through the Great Depression as well as World War II. He saw many things in life that caused him great distress and, I believe, led to his being depressed as he aged. In the later stages of his life, my mother became ill with Lou Gehrig’s disease. That just rocked my dad’s world. After my mom passed away, my dad would tell me on several occasions that, if he were ever terminally ill, to “let him go”.
That was his mantra — until he got cancer. When he was diagnosed with cancer, he stated that he didn’t want anything to be done. But as the cancer progressed and his mortality loomed in front of him, he became frightened. This person who had once been confident of his relationship with God began to question everything. He became afraid to die and told me that we needed to do anything, at any cost, to keep him alive, even if it meant that he no longer had a quality of life. He had switched gears and was now in it for longevity and not quality.
Even as his approaching death was very inevitable, he wanted to make plans for future vacations. I think that he believed if he had plans, perhaps God would let him live just a bit longer. He was like Woody Allen. He didn’t want to be around when death happened. And to a sense, he got his wish. We ended up finding him dead on the floor leading from the kitchen into the living room. He apparently was walking to his favorite chair to watch television and just never made it. He died suddenly and that, as they say, was that.
Too many people do all that they can to distract themselves from the reality of death. They do not want to die. They want to be around for themselves, their families, their families’ families, and the like. However, death is inevitable. That is the long and short of it. It is going to happen to everybody. As Christians, we must remember that it needs to happen. If we do not die, we cannot leave this earthly existence and go home to God.
We face the inevitability of death so that we can prepare ourselves for it. Some people die woefully unprepared. They die without mending hurts they may have caused. They die without repenting their past actions/sins. They die thinking only of themselves instead of serving God. I do not think any of us wants to face God with unresolved things from our past. We need to do all that we can to become a bit more holy day by day so that we can embrace the inevitable when it comes and move quickly and peacefully to the new life God has in store for each of us.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who fear death so much that they are not taking the time to prepare for it, they God may fill them with a sense of peace and hope.