Hello, Death Calling!
April 30, 2019
Remember when Avon ladies used to ring the doorbell and say, “Hello, Avon Calling”? Now, substitute the Avon lady with the Grim Reaper and you have death calling. If death came calling for you, would you open the door? Would you run away or lock yourself in a closet hoping death would go away? When death comes calling, there is no escape.
At Celebration, we know a lot about death. There are two certainties for all living beings: life and death. It is what happens in between that determines whether that life was lived and experienced to its fullest or wasted.
How Long Do You Have to Live?
If you knew you had a year to live, how would you spend today? If you knew you had a day to live, how would you spend the next hour? None of us has the answer to how much time we have. I know it sounds cliché, but if you wake up each morning being thankful for today, when the day of your death arrives, you’ll have less regret. And if you’ve planned for your death, you’ll have a lot less fear and anxiety.
You’re Going to Die
Here is a news flash…I’m dying. Guess what? So are you. We are all dying from the moment we are born. Once you take your first breath, you are one step closer to your death. Dying is as natural a process as being born or breathing, yet we treat it very differently.
What Is Your Attitude Regarding Death?
In the United States, death is a hush-hush, almost taboo subject. Why do we celebrate birth and mourn death? No one ever has open conversations about death. At Celebration, we don’t understand that attitude and are determined to change societal attitudes regarding death. Think about it, when someone finds out they are pregnant, they make announcements, are congratulated, given a shower and inundated with gifts. When someone finds out they are dying from terminal cancer or some other dreadful disease, our reactions are always negative. People say they’re sorry but they don’t know what else to say. Many times, the dying person is shunned because being around them makes others uncomfortable. Sometimes a death sentence is a tragedy, but in certain circumstances it is a blessing. Many people have debilitating illnesses and death is the conclusion to what may have been years of suffering. Death ends suffering, sets people free, releases them from pain and brings peace.
Why Do People Fear Death?
Why do we fear death? These are examples of responses I’ve heard:
- I’m afraid it will hurt.
- I know I’m going to hell because of the people I killed when I was a soldier.
- I’m afraid I’m going to hell because I’ve sinned.
- I’m afraid I’ll be all alone forever.
- I’m scared because I don’t know what I believe.
If we compare western viewpoints or fears about death with eastern beliefs, you’ll see a stark contrast. Buddhists don’t fear death at all. Buddhists believe death is a simple transition from one lifetime to the next. I’ve never met a Buddhist who fears death.
What Do You Believe?
Here at Celebration, we’re not going to tell you what you should or should not believe. If you don’t know what you believe, we’ll help you figure that out. We do want to help ease your fears in any way possible. We don’t believe being afraid of anything that is inevitable makes a lot of sense. We all know death coming at some point, so why not be prepared?
How Do You Feel About Loss?
We should not mourn death. Life is cyclical. We are born, we live, we die. Of course it is natural to be saddened by the loss of a loved one. We’re not saying you should not give the deceased the honor they deserve. When you are experiencing devastating loss, it is really your own loss you are feeling, not the loved one. If you honestly evaluate your feelings, you’re not really feeling sorry for the loved one who has died; you’re feeling sorry for yourself. You’re sad because you:
- Won’t be able to see them
- Won’t be able to share life experiences with them
- Don’t feel like you can cope with life on your own
- Are frightened because you are alone now
Death Should Be Planned
Even if you have no fears of death, there are other aspects of death that should be openly discussed and planned for. Your death should be planned, just like the welcoming of a baby. Think about how much planning is done for 8-9 months before the baby comes home. Death should be given just as much consideration.
Let’s Talk About Death
Here at Celebration, we sponsor Death Café’ meetings where people can have an open dialogue about death in a welcoming, secure environment. No one will judge you no matter what you do or don’t believe. If you have questions, fears, or would just like to explore the topic, join us. We also offer helpful information involving estate planning, long-term care, modern alternatives to funerals, end-of-life celebrations and related matters.
Celebration Discovery Church