Death and all its complexities have felt close to me over the past three months. I don’t know what to do about it.
It’s not just knowing and hearing about people who have passed away. It’s knowing people with terminal cancer or sicknesses that could recur in the foreseeable future.
It’s not death itself that I find scary. I believe in an afterlife and have conviction I will see some of the people who have died again.
But what do we–the living–do when faced with death? It is not only everywhere because of wars, disease, and the brokenness of man; death will come for all of us. We will each have to figure out what it feels like, how we live with it, and how we let go. If we don’t answer questions about death before it finds us, we not only have an incomplete understanding of life but death itself will bring about terrifying, possibly debilitating, fear.
However, if we think of death as “just another path, one that we all must take”* than how we deal with it becomes part of the journey. That sounds a bit non-chalant and callous but it’s true. Death, despair, injustice, poverty–these are all things that are terrible and yet the key to getting through them in our own lives and in the lives of others is to keep living, to not let the fear of death stop us from taking breath and doing the things we love.
I don’t know if I’ve “come to grips” with death. I don’t know if I will ever understand death in this life.
But I firmly believe our lives go on even when we feel like we are surrounded by doors of death.
Said by Gandalf the White in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.