Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In the Face of Death

How do you see yourself ten years from now? What state of life would you take? What makes you busy this day? What are your plans for this week? Where would you spend your vacation? These are some silly and insignificant questions that seemed so ordinary every now and then. Human being is gifted with the knowledge to understand, prepare and inquire curiously what is to happen in the future. If we examine keenly on the above questions, it is somehow an expression of man’s projection of what is to come, a way of careful anticipation of the future. We treasure the past, we cherish the present but we also get overwhelm thinking and preparing for our future. I do not see any problem with this since even other forms of lower creatures instinctively prepares for what is to come. But I came to think of it, if many people untiringly prepares for the future, are they also preparing for their own death? Let me pose this simple question, Have we ever stopped and pondered for a while and ask ourselves, Am I prepared when death suddenly struck my way? What would be my initial reaction? This may sound so strange to talk about this horrifying moment of human existence, but we have no means of escape with this inevitable reality yet sometimes ignored by many. We seldom have the tendency to deny such aspect of life and surely a reality that is universally unappreciated. This month of November is very much apt to reflect on this painful reality of eternal separation.

What is death? In simple term, it is an irreversible cessation of life and the loss of its essential characteristics. Death occurs at several levels and appears in different faces in the same way that life can be lived in many stances. Indeed, life goes with a series of stages. Clearly, medical science can explain the transition of how a person losses life until it finally goes into decomposition. It is somehow an ordinary biological process such digestion, respiration and so on. If this is a normal thing, then why people fear about facing death? Sounds rhetorical, right? We may have many answers to such questions but I guess, we basically afraid of death because we still do not know what exactly lies beyond the darkness, of that dreadful unknown realm. We normally feel great fear facing death but, it is not so much on the temporal aspect, of what we have acquired over the years but we are more concern on searching for the meaning of our own death. We tend to rationalize things yet it seems that we are incapable of thinking. We somehow lost our sanity trying to focus on something that is nowhere to be found. Eventually we end up feeling helpless, lonely and even coward. Persons, money, power and material possessions that are regarded as something valuable in life seemed to lose its importance. Indeed, everything becomes insignificant when man starts to face his greatest enemy.

In the biblical perspective, death is basically consequence of the fall of the first parents yet if we try to examine closely it could also be a blessing from God. It is a gateway towards eternity. Imagine living forever as a sinner, with no possibility of redemption and permanent transformation. Thus, God, in His omniscient nature, prevented Adam and Eve from eternal sinfulness by giving them the gift of death, the ability to gracefully exit this life and arrive safely in the wondrous life to come. Death, though it would appear to be man’s greatest enemy, would in the end, prove to be his greatest friend. It is only through death that we will experience “birth” into a world of transcendental and eventually sees God face to face. In our Christian faith, Jesus Christ conquered the power of death by His own resurrection and therefore we should not be frightened when we are threatened with such reality because, we too, can experience resurrection in the fullness of time. It is significantly important to note that the process of dying is seemingly similar to the process of birthing. The dying person, very often, demonstrates similar breathing patterns as the expectant mother who is undergoing labor contractions. As death approaches, the dying person's breathing becomes more labored and the fear of the unknown becomes more prominent. The expectant mother is taught breathing rhythms and mental exercises to easy the birthing process. Similar breathing and mental exercises can be taught to the dying person to ease the dying process.

The ability to face the reality of death and its impact on our life and each other's lives and the ability to discuss our fears, anticipations, fantasies, and curiosities will better prepare us to fully live our lives. Mitch Albom in his famous novel “Tuesdays with Morrie” says “when you learn to die, you learn to live”. A better understanding of the reality of death perhaps helps us to maturely accept that this is part of our being. Painful it may seem, but we should be open-minded to accept that we only have days to live in this temporal residence and sooner or later we will go back to our final abode.

Be prepared!


Anonymous said...

nice au sir... :))

devin said...

Ah,.,.,.gets na nako!

romplaz said...

whether you are prepared or unprepared, fearless or afraid, death is inevitable. the overriding concern, however, is when you come face to face with God. and when that time comes, will it be that He welcomes you into eternal fellowship with Him, or will He be your judge?

chloue said...

:( as always chada japun kaau imu article sir :)
maka reflect jud tah :))