“When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.” ~ Tecumseh
When I was in high school and college, I was exposed to the thoughts of several prominent doctors, psychologists, and social workers regarding the stages of grief and how those stages often apply to death and dying. The textbook knowledge that I had received was borne out in real life when my mother was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in the early 90’s.
She went through the stages just as if the textbooks were instructing her. From anger and rage to depression to bargaining and, finally, to an inner peace. I remember when she came to that moment of peace. She told me that she was tired of fighting and that she knew and believed that God had something better in store for her than what she was going through. She said that she was looking forward to the moment that Jesus called her home and that she was no longer frightened.
From that moment until the end of her life, she was a different person. She was no longer “filled with fear of death” but, rather, was singing a death song, knowing that her death would release her from the prison that her body had become and that God had something much better in store for her.
That “something much better in store” happened twenty-seven years ago today. May 12, 1994 was the day that my mother took her last breath on earth and opened her eyes for the first time in eternity. Her death, while sad, was peaceful and victorious because she not only handed herself over to the Lord, she taught us to trust in God as well and to look forward to the day we will die knowing that we will all be reunited in the love of our heavenly Father through the saving action of His Son, Jesus Christ.
My mother taught us all through her life and even taught us through her death. Since then, I have prayed for those who face their death in fear, that they might come to know God’s love and peace and embrace the promise of resurrection won for them by Christ.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who are nearing the end of their lives, that they may be filled with grace and peace and thus be able to welcome the Lord’s call.