Monday, August 29, 2011

Death is close....always!

Haven't really felt like writing much.   The juices don't seem to be flowing...maybe this is what is called a writer's block.   Decided I needed to though because the past week has been nothing if not interesting.  Then again, I find that my life is usually least to me. 

Had a real theme of dying this week.   With Jack Layton's death which put me in a bit of a tailspin.  It reminded me of how swiftly this disease can take you from the top or peak of your life and within weeks put you in the ground.   I don't like being reminded of these things but sometimes it is a good thing.   Then I did a funeral on Saturday for a former student who's father died very suddenly, and again was reminded how precious life is, and how unpredictable!   There was a photo at the service of him taken one day before he died with his granddaughter.  It was so beautiful and he didn't look like he was dying...and yet she turned one year old four days later without her Opa.

Both of these men were young by our standard's, yet in many ways both had lived life to the fullest in their own ways.   It made me realize that it isn't how long you live, its what you do with the  time you live.  I know that isn't very original as we all seem to say it often, esp when someone dies.  But it is profound!   

If we come to accept death as a part of life we are much more likely to live while we are still alive.   In our society (b/c most of the world knows full well that death is very close at hand) we often see death as something that is outside of life.   As if it is standing off in the wings and if we are really careful and don't let it come on stage we can somehow beat it and live forever.  We constantly believe that if we do the right things then we can avoid or at least delay death indefinitely.  Then comes a moment where someone dies and we are stunned.......

I too am very much guilty of this way of thinking.   Even with cancer, I have gotten complacent and not lived the life I know I could have.   Then it raises its ugly head again and I am taken aback by the seriousness of it.   I don't believe that we should all live as if at any moment we are going to be struck down.   It would be a very neurotic world to see everyone running around twisting their heads to see if some awful thing was about to befall them.    What I mean, is that we should look death in the eyes, see it as a reality, and then decide to live every moment as if it counts.   Not putting off all those things until it is more convenient, especially the things that are relational in nature.   Spend time with loved ones, help those in need not b/c they deserve it but b/c we as humans are obligated to help others.   See the good in others, the wonder in nature, the awe in  children, the humour in God's world.    Believe me God definitely has a sense of humour and it is all around us.   Just tell God your plans for the day!!!!   

The past week has been difficult.....I have had to look death in the face at a personal and at a more general level and both have had an effect on me.   I have had to  deal with the reality that this disease is back and that it isn't going to just go away if I ignore it.   Death is in the room in my life but it doesn't mean I have to invite it to stay or even offer it a seat.   I will look it in the eye and then turn and leave the room to live another day......that's all I have and so here I go off to have a great day no matter what it brings....even if it brings death!

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