...Let us trust that it is something better
Thoughts for this item were formed a while ago and tucked away in the back of my mind during a protracted death bed vigil for a loved one. I really do not know why the thoughts are surfacing now, but I have a gut feeling that they might be relevant to someone, somewhere, at this time.
I read somewhere that we are all infected with a sexually transmitted disease which is 100 per cent fatal. It is called "life". You can twist it, or deny it, but there is no escape. I thought at first that this was a rather unusual analogy, but after I considered the words a little more carefully I fully understood.
The question remains however, is there an end when death occurs?...Or, is it the beginning of a new stage of our evolution? This is a subject about which countless writers have written, poets have sung, philosophers have speculated, and law makers have legislated. We come without knowing why, we go without knowing why, and in the words of Arthur Brisbane, "we travel our journey balanced on a thread stretched between the finger and thumb of destiny."
Dr. Carl Jung, the famous Viennese psychoanalyst, seemed to support Biblical references to a "life hereafter" when he wrote: "What happens after death is so unspeakably glorious that our imagination and our feelings do not suffice to form even an approximate conception of it." I tend to accept what he was saying. Just think of an amazing, limitless future where sorrow, imperfection, pain and mental and physical limitations will be no more. It's exciting, but difficult to comprehend, isn't it? This is where we call on faith and trust for comfort and hope.
The teachings of all faiths on what lies ahead of our present life span, and in the case of Christians, the solidity of a belief in a "bodily" resurrection (a spiritual body, not a physical one) makes all the difference between being able to keep going on with renewed energy, hopefulness and purpose, and being completely overcome by depression and despair.
We feel sad and we naturally mourn the death of a loved one, but in the end we can celebrate their passing into a better realm, or stage -- the same one that we ourselves will experience some day, providing we have lived a decent kind of life. This is all a sound basis for ultimate hope for ourselves, our loved ones and the rest of humanity. It is what, in essence, keeps us on a relatively straight and narrow path during our earthly journey.
Death then, is not to be feared. It is to be welcomed and prepared for. What lies beyond death should be considered a reward for doing our best in the time allotted us on this earth -- doing good more times than we did bad, receiving and extending forgiveness, loving unconditionally. Death, as I have witnessed it, is a quiet, peaceful release. We, the living, are left behind for the time being to complete our journey, advisedly maximizing every minute, every mile. Our dear departed loved ones would have it no other way.