Death, the great equalizer that all of us must some day face and no one can avoid. Rich, poor, male, female, athlete or book worm we all are heading towards it. Some more rapidly than others but it’s going to happen and there is nothing we can do to stop it.
It is defined as “the act of dying; the end of life; the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism.” Even the definition makes us shudder some and immediately want to change the subject.
Death is all around us but most of us don’t think about it until we are personally impacted by it. As Grace Livingston Hill illustrates in her novel The Witness,
“Death! Death! Death! Everywhere! It seemed as if everybody was dying?
As he went out into the street again a great sense of weariness came over him. He had lived-how many years had he lived!-in experience since he left the university at half past five o’clock? How little his past life looked to him as he surveyed it from the height he had just climb. Life! Life was not all basketball, and football, and dances, and fellowships, and frats and honor! Life was full of sorrow, and bounded on every hand by death!”
I suspect there are a number of reasons for this almost lack of awareness of the fact that death is all around us with the most obvious being most of us just don’t want to face up to the truthfulness of our inevitable demise.
I remember seeing photographs of my great grandparents and their friends and no one smiling. I use to think it was because they didn’t have all their teeth or life was just to hard to smile about. Or, infant mortality was so high back then that many families had experienced it first hand. Having lost my precious Shaun, I better understand why they may not have been smiling.
I’m 66 years old so death is coming at me like a freight train. Most of the time I don’t think about it but, if I’m honest, it’s always in the back of my mind. When I was a teenager during the 60’s the lyrics to a popular song was “war, what is it good for, absolutely nothing”. I think you could substitute death for war and the lyrics may seem to be just as true.
I’d like over the next few weeks to consider why death is something most don’t want to talk about especially since as a Christian I believe I will close my eyes for the last time on planet earth and open them in a flash in paradise with Jesus.
WHY???? What drives our avoidance of a topic we all must face?