Death has come unexpectedly so many times in my life...intruding...
insinuating itself...no, even more than that... abruptly slicing into the
fiber, the essence, of everyday life and wounding me- and so many
others- to the very core.
Death is the great interrupter, doing so with no apology, with no
apparent concern for its life-changing implications, for the pain
it inflicts or the emptiness it brings or the way it overturns all
that is known and safe and comfortable.
Death wanders down the halls of hospitals and hospices, to be sure.
But it also lurks in the dark and lonely and unexpected corridors
of the mind. It reaches out its icy tendrils to grasp and hold the
unsuspecting adventurer. It hides along roadways and behind
highway overpasses, unseen and unexpected by travelers.
Death, it seems, would like to believe that in its intrusion into our
lives, it has the last, the final word. And, indeed, if this earthly plane
is all one knows, all one believes, Death is indeed the victor- has the
victory over every living being. But for those of us who "see" and
know and deeply believe something more, life does not cease with
our death, but goes on. How or where or in what way does not
matter- at least to me. What matters is that I believe that the
life-force inside each of us, the God-energy which was breathed into
us at our birth, lives on...and that Death must, at the last, slink
away in defeat, as the beautiful, holy essence of the human being
who was, continues to exist, to be, to live on.
Death has come unexpectedly so many times in my life: my
youngest sister, my eldest son, an old and dear male friend and
colleague; more recently, a precious female friend, and the
husband of my dear pastor and friend...intruding...insinuating
itself... slicing deep into the lives of those of us left behind.
And it extracts a toll...leaves behind a hole which nothing or no
one else will ever fill. But I feel...I believe...I know, that the last
word is not Death but life... ongoing and eternal. Therein lies
my hope; therein lies my faith; therein lies my trust. And so,
even in the midst of Death's painful, tenacious grip, I can say,
"Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through Jesus