Death

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?

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About menmourningmoments

I'm happily married, the Father of 2 sons and 2 daughters and 4 beautiful grandchildren. Death is all around us but somehow we've managed to distance ourselves from it. Men, Mourning, Moments is about how the death of my son awakened me to life & the desire to seize every moment as though it were my last. It's about making sense of life in the good times and bad and allowing GOD to carry me and teach me through the hard times in life.
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4 Responses to Death

  1. Kory Capps says:

    Mason, I look forward to more of your thoughts on this topic. I thought a few things as I read the post. First, I think fear is one of the major factors that causes us to avoid anything and everything that has to do with death. The fear of death is identified as a significant issue in Scripture with the power to enslave a person for a life time (Hebrews 2:14-15). Second, death is one of the most unnatural things that we face as humans. Elizabeth Kubler Ross, the author who wrote on the stages of grief, argued that it was difficult if not impossible for a living person to come to terms with the reality of their own death. I am glad you are writing on this and look forward to further interaction.

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  2. I think you are right. I think fear, separation from love ones, the great unknown or unnatural as you described it, our dislike of change of any kind and our tendency to live our lives vicariously through other people and mediums results in our living our lives in 2 arenas, 1 real and the other not and death usually not a part of the latter. I’m still thinking through the last one and covet your thoughts on any other reasons that might come to you.

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  3. Will says:

    It is curious that we would be afraid of something that none of us will be able to avoid unless Jesus comes back soon. Furthermore, the shock and surprise that comes over us when someone passes away, even someone way past 66, Mason. I am thinking of Twitter reaction to Shirley Temple’s passing, many people were expressing surprise, shock and sadness. She was 85! Honestly, my surprise was that she was still living! Child actors/actresses don’t have a good track record in this area.

    Perhaps it is simply fear of the unknown. I read this book by Navy Seal, Richard Machowicz. He related an experience where he had to teach people how to ski, the only problem was he had never skied. He associated his fear with a lack of preparedness. Simple, but this makes a lot of sense to me. Ever since I read that, one of my mantras has been “Preparation Eliminates Anxiety.” My schedule is always packed with events-not just tasks-events that require a lot of preparation, planning, communication, and follow-up. When I leave many of the tasks associated with the event to be done at the last possible moment, this creates a lot of anxiety.

    This would appear to make sense with death. Anxiety lessens with preparedness. Death becomes a victory. (1 Corinthians 15:54ff; Philippians 1:21) As Rick Warren put it in The Purpose Driven Life, this life is just the “trailer” to the movie. For those that are prepared for death, it is welcomed. It is a victory. I don’t mean to over-simplify it, but it is a matter of perspective. The other reality for me is it’s very easy for me to say all of this with no anticipation of my death on the horizon, lol.

    I also look forward to hearing more thoughts about this.

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