Monday, September 15, 2008

The Tenacious D

No, not the homies pictured at right. I'm talking about Death, the ultimate tenacious "D." You see, I realize that I'm a bit strange because I don't experience much sadness when someone passes. Yes, I KNOW - I sound horrible, even to myself. I do experience very strong emotions...but rarely in response to death. I was reflecting upon my strangeness over the weekend, and came up with the following explanation, a mini-essay if you will:

"My grieving usually involves, not death, but the tough things that precede death - pain and struggle with illness, catastrophes of life, relationship difficulties, living with the consequences of poor choices, people's struggles with addictions, etc. Someone's death, their absence from my daily life, doesn't affect me in the same way. And I guess that is for a number of reasons:

"I usually still speak to these people (although no, I don't hear them answering back!) I ask them to pray for me, and I pray for them - that their experience of purgatory is brief, or not necessary at all. I realize that, in God, they can understand my love for them and the motivations for my actions (good and bad) much better than I can myself. If there was anything I didn't feel able to say to them in life, for whatever reason, those restrictions aren't there anymore. They're free of the pains and struggles I mentioned in the paragraph above. There is also the recognition that, for all of the theological study I've done, these people have leaped beyond me in the twinkling of an eye. I also hope to be able to spend a literal eternity with them. I guess for all of these reasons, death doesn't sadden me all that much. If I feared that a person I loved was totally resisting God's attempts to work in his/her life though, then that passing would make me sad; there is something far worse than earthly death out there.

"My discomfort with my own death centers around the unknown: will there be a great deal of pain beforehand? When my time comes, will I be living as God's child; or will I have chosen something incompatible with Him? (I'm very aware of my ability to sin, how feeble I really am when it comes to virtue; so I have to stay on my guard.)"

Note: This is my second post with a photo of Jack Black. Forget my views on death; what does that say about me?

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