With the tragedy of Covid-19 we are all faced with death up close and personal. Not all of us have lost loved ones but most of us have friends who have. Death has been a part of life since the Garden of Eden and yet in our modern world we shy away from addressing its reality in our lives.
We know we will all die someday but we don't want to think about it or plan for it until it is staring us in the face. If we thought about it in a practical way we would live our lives a bit differently.
I don't want to get morbid about it but I think it might be nice to look at it a little. Death can come at any time. We could have a heart attack, be involved in an accident, or succumb to a disease of some kind. We could also live a very long time too. But since we are alive now, let's consider how we might want to alter our life a bit.
If we know our time is short we tend to make sure we express our love for those close to us in heart. We want to live each day we have to the fullest. We pare down things that would hinder us from doing those two things just mentioned. Since that it pretty true maybe we should do those three things starting now.
The other thing we would want to do if we knew our time on earth was short was to get things in order. We would want to settle old emotional debts. Leave our home and things in such a way as to be a minimal burden on those left behind. These are two more things we could begin to practice now while we have time.
The other side of death I want to touch on is what we do when death takes someone close to us. We must admit that our sorrow is usually not for them as much as it is for ourselves. We are the greater losers.
We lament those that die young because they missed so much of life and yet perhaps their life would not have been a wonderful as we image it. We miss those that died because of sickness and yet they are free of suffering now. And we miss those that die after a long life because we lose so much wisdom and history they offer us.
Mourning and grief are a normal part of life just like death. I do not want you to omit them. They are part of the healing process. However, rather than fall into self pity be sure to focus on the good memories you have.
My parents passed a few years ago and though the pain has subsided there are times when I think, 'Oh Dad will know where to find that.' or 'Mom can tell me how to do that' only to realize they are no longer here to ask. So missing others does not totally go away.
For me it was a few months after the initial shock of their passing and dealing with all the stuff that comes when someone dies that I really was smacked with grief. The reality that they were truly gone and would not return finally hit. Others had moved on with their lives and I came face to face with my loss. It hurt!
That is when I focused on the sweet memories I had with them that got me through. It is when I realized that I was grieving for my loss. They were in a better place and I was left behind. It is those sweet memories that I draw on when the pang of their passing raises its head.
We get to choose on what we are going to focus on when someone dies. We can dwell on the unfairness of their passing. The injustice that took them from us, or we can focus on them and what kind of a person they were. How they were dear to us and what precious memories we have that their passing cannot take from us.
In this time when we are facing so much death that seems so unreal and unwarranted we have to deal with bereavement. We cannot avoid the pain it causes but we can choose how we will deal with it.
For you I wish all the comfort heaven affords and all the strength you will need going forward. But I also wish you many wonderful memories of those now gone to brighten the days ahead. Death comes for all of us but we have the power to overcome its pain.