*The article below deals with the sensitive subjects of death and dying.
Some days I really miss my childhood; being sheltered from the reality of life. When things like death, although always there, seemed to occur on the periphery of my life.
Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. Over the years, death has slowly inched its way into my circle; I can no longer ignore its existence. The number of people who’ve passed away, who I knew, in some way, is mind-numbing. So I try, oh I try, to keep those thoughts away.
But from time to time, I remember. And one thing is clear. Everyone dies alone.
I learned this lesson after I watched a once full-figured friend wither away to almost nothing, while I seemingly stood there, helpless.
I was desperate to know how she was feeling, what she was thinking, was she afraid. But I didn’t ask. I could only imagine.
While I surmise that the presence of family and friends is a source of great comfort, the dying goes through this process individually.
Thankfully, in the quiet moments, when the visitors have gone home and they are left alone with their thoughts, Jesus, who has beaten death, is always there for them.
No one else can go through it with them; as much as they sympathize, it just isn’t possible.
Similarly, you alone can make the decision about where you spend eternity.
It doesn’t matter how many sermons you’ve heard, or how much people wish that you would choose this or that. The decision is yours, and yours alone.
I guess in my mind the two are inextricably linked.
Hebrews 9:27 (NIV) says, “…people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”
And while some may find it morbid to plan for one’s eventual death, it makes perfect sense to plan for one’s eternity.