Death is a topic that is seldom talked about in our culture. We avoid it. Death is often kept in the funeral home or hospital. Our culture doesn’t wish to look at it. We don’t like to think about it.
I am a nurse and saw my first person die when I was the tender age of 19. It was a wakeup call for me. I realized my mortality early. Since that time so very long ago, I have seen many, many people die (including my own mom) and have been with some of them holding their hand or stroking their brow as they passed from this earth when they were without friends or family present. It is always a reverent time and a hallowed place for me to be. Most people in our culture do not witness many deaths.
Many of us lose friends and family over the years. A while ago, I could name about 18 people in my life who have already died. It is never easy trying to adjust to these losses.
All of us expect to one day lose our grandparents and our parents, but none of us really expect to lose our friends…especially when they die at a younger age. Losing those who are close to our own age gives us an unwanted wake up call. It is a reminder of our own mortality..that our time on this earth is not limitless. Yet, life gives no guarantees..we don’t know how many days we are going to be living here on earth.
I have done some deep thinking on this very subject about 29 years ago when my non-smoking best friend died of lung cancer at age 30. Over a 2 year period, I went through chemo, radiation, tears, joys and finally death with her. It was a sobering reminder to me that youth was no shield against death.
So, what conclusions have I reached since I have had so much exposure to death?
1. There is a God. He is good and He cares for us all.
2. Death is not a scary experience. It can be peace-filled. It is most difficult for those of us who are left behind.
3. I am ready if it should happen to me today.
4. Live life fully each day.
I know God and He knows my name. That is the ultimate in comfort for me. I am confident that I will one day see those who left this earth before me. I do not fear death.