I have some opinions about death.
I ardently agree and appreciate Mark Moore’s statement that there are only two things in human existence that we were not created to deal with: guilt and death. How else do you explain our infatuation with immortality, the pointed absence of meditation on the reality of one’s death, the utter terror and tragedy we all feel upon the confrontation of death? Our minds can’t wrap themselves around it. They weren’t meant to, and yet they have to on an almost daily basis.
There is nothing good about death. God does not look at any dying person, bird, or leaf and see beauty or good or triumph. He has brought forth beauty and good and triumph from death, but He does not see it IN death. Death is the enemy of God. Death is the enemy of humanity.
I lived with my great-grandfather as he was dying. He had lived a life of strength, integrity and love. Death made him frail and confused and violent. It made him another person.
My other grandfather is dying as I write this.
Because of one death in particular, I don’t have to fear any other death. Neither does anyone else who understands this. All of my family has this hope, both for themselves and for Grandpa. There’s been resolve, courage and strength in the midst of his faltering. We know that once he dies, he will get to see Jesus. And yet, when the doctor’s walked into the room and told his wife of nearly sixty years that she had only days left with him, all the resolve and courage and strength dissolved and she clung to him, sobbing. I know that Grandpa’s death will be the gateway to painlessness and Light, and yet I cry every time I think of it.
I have said that because of a certain death, I don’t have to fear death anymore. But I do. And I hate it. I will be glad when it is finally defeated and thrown away.