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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Friends and Death

            I have a friend who has been given just a few months left to live. It's made me think about what I would do in her shoes. Would I try to finish off my bucket list? Would I feel like even getting up in the morning? Would I feel "ready" and have accomplished what I wanted to do with my life? Would I just savor every day, every conversation?           
           Would I notice things about people, about my home and neighborhood that I never noticed before? Would I be scared out of my mind? Would I be concerned about how leaving would affect the lives of my family and friends? Would I even care? Would I hope there had been a misdiagnosis and it wasn't really true?
            Would I get by every day by pretending it wasn't true? Would I try to forget about it and just live the life I had created?

            I have no idea about these things.  Two thoughts have sustained me through previous deaths of relatives/friends.  The thought of all of the people in my family who are already deceased welcoming the newby into heaven has been helpful.  Because I know how much I'd appreciate it when it's my turn.  The other thought that I suppose is heresy, is what the Buddhists believe--that every life comes from the same source.  When a baby is born a pinch of this "life" is created into a human.  When that person dies, that little pinch of life (along with its accumulated wisdom) goes back into the ball of original source.  It sounds nice to me, like being part of a world whole.  Whereas, we're all alone in this world when the bottom line gets drawn.  Whatever it is, it'll either be a big adventure or a silent hole of nothingness.  The nothingness thing is what people fear, I think.
            As a Christian, the options are heaven and hell.  And I know plenty about both of those.  It just makes me more satisfied to think my life would not have been in total vain if I were a tiny part of the whole world that would go on forever.  Heaven sounds safe and beautiful, doesn't make me feel useful.  I don't even want to talk about hell.
             And even though I know I make every effort to "fix" things gone wrong in lives I touch, I do it alone.  If it satisfies me and those I'm able to "fix," does it satisfy God?  After all, even through all my efforts at doing the right thing, I'm automatically a sinner because I'm alive.    That doesn't seem very "Christian" to me.
             It isn't I who must face this "adventure" alone, at least at this moment. But having lived almost 90% of my statistical life, it won't be long before I'll have to think about it if I'm able.

            I think I'd pray for grace. Grace from God as well as grace in handling the time I had left. I probably wouldn't accomplish grace since I'm such a wimp, but at least knowing perhaps would give me a chance to be in charge of what's left.

            It's sad to think about being mortal. It's been a long time getting here and time is easily forgotten. Mortals have the arrogance of thinking only about today and me, me, me. Put all things bad out of my mind and I can pretend it into never.

But I will miss my friend, for a hundred reasons.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant! I tend to avoid both heaven and hell in my mental meanderings as either one seems a bit subjective and ultimately a choice laden outcome, easy enough to opt out of. I know as I have opted out of heaven many many times but I really get busy with my options when I find myself in a hell. As my love for others, all others, increases, so does my love of family... or maybe it's vice versa. I find comfort in some very real thoughts (to me) that we are all family on a spiritual level. A spirit having a physical experience to discover what he is by the realization of what he isn't, and a return to the family. Feels nice to me!