There Is Nothing Natural About Death

Posted: December 6, 2013 in Family, Life
Tags: , , , , , ,

Cemetary

Within the last week, I lost someone dear to me: my great aunt.  It was sudden and unexpected.  We all assumed that despite her being in her early 70’s, she was in good health and doing great.  Also, her father–my great grandfather–will be turning 94 this month, and he is still pretty spry and healthy.  Death certainly seemed far away.

Losing a loved one is difficult.  However, when it sneaks up and steals life suddenly it is even harder.  We are left wondering why and how we couldn’t see it coming,  It is a disconcerting feeling to know that life can be carefree one day and then stolen away the next–all without a warning.

My first reaction was shock.  I needed to know why and how.  I wanted to try to make sense of it all.  However, I noticed that even though everyone else felt the same grief, they didn’t all share my need for answers.  As soon as I expressed those questions, I was met with a dumbfounded response: “But she was old…”  I could hear the implied continuation of that sentence.  But she was old…it was bound to happen eventually.  But she was old…it’s the natural progression of things.

The more I see death the more I realize there is nothing ‘natural’ about it.  It may be the fate of everyone on this earth.  But it’s not ‘natural’–not in the least bit.  Every iota of my being has always told me that death is NOT how it should be.  It isn’t what should be our fate.  Death causes pain, sorrow, separation, devastation, depression, and a myriad of other negative side effects.  Even when an evil person dies we cannot say that that death can have a wonderful effect on this world.  We may be protected from suffering more evil at the hands of this person, but all the best things in life can’t directly come from the end of human life.  So how could something so negative be considered the natural end?

We are meant for so much better.  We are designed for a higher purpose than to simply live and then die.  That is why no matter how old a person is when they pass away I can never shrug it off as normal or simply the natural end to life.  Death is an unwelcome interruption.  It takes us away from family, love, helping others, making a difference, laughter, and joy.  It creates a rift that cannot be healed…at least for now.  It causes wounds and sorrow that usually can’t be healed in this life.

Death reminds me that God didn’t design us to die.  He created us for immortality–to live a joyful and blessed life always.  When we try to accept death as normal and natural, we risk forgetting that.  Death should always be a reminder that this life is temporary.  Death should instill in us the urgency to make the most of our lives.  Life is so fleeting.  It can be gone in an instant, and then we must stand before God to account for how we used our time.

I know I’m not perfect.  In fact, I’m the exact opposite.  I’m horribly flawed.  I can be selfish, rude, and inconsiderate.  I make mistakes and excuses.  And I’m still ashamed of some of the things I’ve done in the past, even though I’ve found forgiveness and tried to grow as an individual.

Still, I want to leave this life behind with as little regrets as possible.  I want to die knowing I did my best and helped leave something good behind.  I want to be so much more than my wrongdoing and mistakes when I take my final breath.  I want to be able to honestly tell God that although I failed so many times, I always got back up and tried to do better.  I want to start the next life knowing that this life was NOT in vain or wasted.

© 2013 Amanda R. Dollak
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Comments
  1. Deborah Dera says:

    This is something I’ve really been struggling with a lot. My great aunt was 87 when she died, and was ill – so she was accepting and went through the process gracefully. My father-in-law is, right now, in the hospital with pneumonia. They’re getting ready to send him back to his assisted living home today; but he swears he’s dying and won’t stop saying it. He’s 86. I wonder if he’s right. If he is, I wonder why. It’s hard for his son to hear him say that all the time; and I’m not sure how to handle it all…

    • ARDollak says:

      It is hard to deal with something that is inevitable but not right. I know I will die some day and I hope to do it with peace and grace. I hope I never lose sight of death’s true nature. I’m sorry you are struggling with this, too, Deborah.

  2. Lisa Mason says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Very great post. I know a lot of people can understand this right now.

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