I am going to die.
So are you.
We cannot avoid it.
We can try to forget about it, by distracting ourselves with sports, binge watching shows, movies, work, to-do lists, and drama.
Yet with every funeral, every opening segment of the news, and every trip down memory lane, we recognize that death is inevitable.
This past weekend, we celebrated my parents anniversary. I reflected on this day here.
I found myself feeling even more sad over the past two days. I meditated yesterday on my emotions, trying to get to the bottom of this feeling.
I recognized how precious life was, and that those who were in that room would one day die. I realized how much I would miss them. This was very much the source of my sadness.
This opened up a deeper internal processing. As I dug deeper, I recognized that there was this deeper fear of my own death. Not only for what that would mean for my wife, daughter, sister, parents, family, and friends. But also for me.
Where would I go?
Does it just end?
Where are the generations of civilizations before us? Could this be all there is?
Even if there is somewhere, what is it like?
Could our faith traditions be another distraction, a well-packaged defense mechanism by our mind to keep us moving and living?
These are some questions, and yes there are more.
But this sampling of concerned inquiries lead to a fear that is primal. It can keep me up at night if I allowed myself to truly reflect.
To be honest, I resist this. Yet, as I slowly open that door a little at a time, I begin to recognize the need to surrender.
I will die.
I hope there is something more. In my heart, as a man of faith, I believe there is a reunion with our creator.
Despite my beliefs, I still wonder, what if?
It is perhaps the greatest of life’s mysteries. I am comforted by the spiritual experiences of my life, and that of others. I am strengthened by the glimpses of heaven that occur daily.
Last night, after a spiritually emotional day, my daughter fell asleep in my arms. I fell asleep too. It has been a long time since we shared such a moment. (Thank God she sleeps through the night, so rocking her to sleep hasn’t been necessary).
I didn’t wake up with answers. The mystery remained.
I did wake up feeling loved, and in having loved her, not in words, but in a simple embrace. It was what I needed. I believe she sensed that.
In this embrace came a gentle reminder.
This child was a gift from God, a clue to that there is something more than we can imagine. As was her birth, who could have imagined such a beauty or creation?
Something, someone, created this child, revealing God’s love simply, but profoundly, by love.
As the mystery remains, peace comes in the form of love. It is in this love that I can trust, I can hope.
How do you make sense of death? What comforts you? What is your truth?