I am going to die
I don’t know when, or how, or why, but I know I will die.
Why avoid this basic truth?
Is it because we can’t bear to think that we will no longer exist – that there is nothing after death – just a nothingness like being “put under” an anesthetic for surgery?
I don’t believe that I will “cease to exist” simply because I have died. That is my faith speaking. There are innumerable stories of the dead returning to give messages to the living. (A little book called “Get us out of Here!”) There are also countless stories of the dead returning to life and telling what they saw. (Remember the little book, “Heaven is for Real”?) I believe these stories despite psychiatrists saying they are hallucinations and neurologists saying it is just brain synapses.
If these stories are true, then I will not “cease to exist” simply because I have died. Who I am will continue.
Both friends and family refuse to talk about their own deaths and are uncomfortable when I plan for mine. Why avoid planning ahead?
Many of my friends and family have refused to make wills or pre-plan their own funerals. They just don’t want to think about it. Instead they leave it to family or friends to assume the burden of settling their affairs. And it is a burden since neither family nor friends know the intimate details of their lives.
I can only assume that it is the notion of nothingness after death that is frightening. How can we who are alive envision a time when we do not exist?
I suspect suicides look forward to that nothingness to escape the unbearable existence they are experiencing – seeking oblivion.
Or is it simply that we don’t like change?
We avoid death so much that we can’t even admit that someone has died. Instead we say they have “passed.” Passed what? I assume they mean “passed on,” but again passed on to what?
I am with the “memento mori” crowd. I am not afraid or ashamed to admit I am going to die someday. It is inevitable. Why not plan to the degree possible? For a person of faith, it means trying to live according to the rules laid down by my maker. For the person of reason, it means making a will and preplanning a funeral or donating your body to science. It means making your wishes known to others – such as “do not resuscitate.” To do all this requires admitting “I will die eventually. What do I want done with my body and my property?”
Yes, I am going to die, and so are you. It is just a matter of when, where, why and how.