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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dying with Dignity

“I’ve shown our girls how to live; now I will show them how to die.”

~Robin Carter, quoting his now deceased wife on her learning of her terminal pancreatic cancer.

Death will level the best of us, and apart from Christ, it does have the better of us, certainly from the sense of the physical life. In this way, to be scared to death of death is certainly very understandable. After all, what will passing through the threshold of this life to the next be like? It’s a terrifying mystery, besides the fact we’ll miss our loved ones and them us.

But, still, we will die. And in the meantime we’re accorded—and we’re blessed by—opportunities to get used to the idea.

Playing a little with the concept this side of eternity can’t, then, be a bad thing. We use it to prepare ourselves for any manner of manifestation regarding the process of getting there.

Dying well is a craft,

although it seems a tad offensive,

for we don’t want to appear as daft,

the morbid in us advising, “Defensive!”

When it comes to falling asleep,

a chatter, amaze, then sudden quietness,

alone we slip into the deep,

contrite we are in our politeness.

Countering the Fear of Death

Just what will meet us on the other side after we’ve “fallen asleep?” How it’s to occur is beyond every last one of us. And this is okay—perhaps we’re not meant to know.

We deal with so much innuendo and conjecture this side of it, and then it comes; the culmination of all things (this side) for us. The end literally nigh.

We cannot do credit to this venture of death with words or planning or anything else, but we can look it squarely in the eye—that nemesis that will steal away life from us far too prematurely if we’d let it.

The very test of life so far as death is concerned is to live life as if we’d never die, but with a caveat; that is to know intimately that death can have us any time it likes.

Dying with dignity (and we’re all dying) is perhaps the holding of that great tension, above, between our minds and our hearts.

And what is this about at core? Courage, yes, but the wisdom of truth more so.

So far as eternity is concerned, which direction are we headed for?

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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