Death is a mystery in anyone’s terms. A person is here one moment and gone the next... forever. Yet, we never think of them beforehand as gone, even if we’re expecting them to die. We are never ready for death; theirs or ours.
It’s the absence of the person that we grapple with. We just cannot reconcile it, and as human beings we don’t like to be in positions like that.
Death itself is not a popular topic for discussion, generally.
I was so shocked recently to learn of the loss of a geographically distant but close enough friend. We had helped each other, prayed for each other and each other’s family, and journeyed together from opposite sides of the globe. Now he’s gone. He was 47.
I looked at a photograph of this man with his family—taken years ago—and they had so much potential. None of what we know now impinged on that perfect image.
If only we had insight into how things might turn out; about who may not be here in a year or two, six months, or tomorrow. We take too much preciousness for granted.
Death, If We’re Not Afraid of It, Promotes Discussion
Because events like death are so finalising, and so incomprehensible, they invite discussion if and when we’re ready. We need to talk about it when we are ready.
If we’ve not been lacerated by the claw that is death we are possibly in awe of the mystery of the concept, which is no morbid appreciation besides an abnormal preoccupation, which might invite worry on the part of loved ones regarding potential for suicide, possibly.
Death gives us a better appreciation for life. It puts life into a more awesome and delicate perspective; life suddenly takes on more of an eternal value. Appreciation for life creates energy and energy finds an outlet in discussion and spending time together. The togetherness exacted from discussion promotes healing. These are transactions of love to fuel life.
Death Beyond Discussion
What is certain, however, is that beyond discussion death is likely to silence us into a reflective mood which reminds us that we all owe God our physical death. It’s the price of life, for what is living must eventually die, just as what goes up must ultimately come down.
Beyond that, if we believe, we have Glory to look forward to.
But death is beyond discussion when all is said and done. So many parts of the dying and post-death realities cannot be, in truth, value added through talk. Nothing can add value to death unless we consider the person dead to be in heaven. Even then there’s a limit to how much we can discuss the fact.
And concepts of heaven have us marvelling at what that might be like; for we see a creation that is mind blowing—how might heaven be supremely more stupendous?
Death: like it or not, it’s an enigma generating both discussion and silence. Nothing will change that.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.