“That’s what we’re all looking for. A certain peace with the idea of dying. If we know, in the end, that we can ultimately have that peace with dying, then we can do the really hard thing.”
“Make peace with living.”
Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie (quotes are from Morrie Schwartz)
There are times in my life when I feel as I have made peace with dying; then there are other times when I feel as I am nowhere near being a peace with death. Maybe that’s normal; maybe not – I don’t know. As I heard someone say a long time ago – the only normal I know of is on a washing machine.
I’ve spent a lot of my life thinking about death; as a young woman I was obsessed with it and later on flirted with it, coming close to taking my own life. As my life continued forward and I tried on different faith-based belief systems, my interest/obsession with death waned. The only time I thought about it was when I was diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease. At that time the life expectancy was 20 years, but through medication I have far surpassed those 20 years.
So I wonder, am I at peace with death? Yes, I am good with that. It is the dying part that is scary. It is easy to get on board with going to sleep and waking up in the Presence of God. It’s easy to accept going on with my daily life, minding my own business and suddenly perishing at the hand of a crazed lunatic or bizarre accident. I’m cool with that. I have no control over what anyone else is doing or thinking so if their actions cause my death, well, so what? I believe I won’t be in God’s Eternal Presence a nanosecond before I am supposed to be.
But, like I said earlier, it is the process of dying that is scary. The long, slow, maybe even painful descent into death that no one wants a part of – and I wonder, would my faith hold through that kind of hell? Is it even hell to go through that, or an opportunity to grow closer to God? Everything I go through is an opportunity to grow closer to God. Having never suffered in this manner I can only hope and pray that my faith would hold and I not abandon the One who has been my Rock and my Salvation.
I suppose we never know how any of us will react/respond to a situation until we are placed in it. I hope and pray I remain true to my spirit and to the Holy Spirit should I be placed in such a conundrum as the saints who have gone on before me. I’ve heard it said that tragedy or a major illness brings out who we truly are. I believe that – if, in my heart of hearts, I am a kind and compassionate person then tragedy or illness will bring it forth (except, of course, in the case of mind-altering or personality-altering situations). By the same token, if I am but a raving lunatic wearing a mask, well, that, too, will show forth.
Regardless, my prayer is the same – that I remain faithful to my faith in a Benevolent, Loving God who loves me no matter who or what I am. I may change, but He never changes.