This entry was inspired by one of Ed Lapiz's Message CDs after listening to it while driving my way back home from Manila to Pangasinan. I hope that this will inspire everyone.
Are we afraid of Death?
Yes, a lot of us actually are. It is probably due to how we actually see death. Isn't it that he's portrayed as dressed in black cloak with a sickle? It surely scares us all when we see something like it. But we should not fear death. Death are ushers to the next life. We should see them as someone dressed in a beautiful gown singing a song with us as we walk to face God.
We are actually destroyed and frightened by death. It robs our happiness, weakens our strength, strangulates our lives, curtails our plans, degrades our hopes and most importantly reduces the possibilities in life.
Death actually affects us before, during and after it happens.
Death affects us in our daily activities before it really happens. We think about it all the time, and we give so much effort avoiding it.
If a person is afraid of death then it is most likely that he will always think about his death; and through this constant thoughts about it, it will only consume his time and limits the possibilities in his life; he will then just lay down and not do anything anymore and wait for the moment of his death; in other words, death loses hope.
On the other hand...
We dreamed and still dreams and create future plans for ourselves. It is very wonderful to dream because it is free. We wanted to be successful someday or maybe some of us already managed to reach those dreams. We plan all the time, that is the main point and we don't just stop there, we want to achieve these goals in our plans. It is however not bad to plan, think of our future and make an ambition, but we also should not forget to plan ahead in probably facing God the following day.
It's just a matter of balancing between planning our Death while enjoying Life.
Some people however are "too religious" or too conscious that they're very afraid in facing God after death. These are the people who are not sure of their VISA to heaven, trying hard to make it right. They are too worried about it that they plan about it time after time that they already didn't enjoy their earthly life through continuously planning over their death.
Death should not contain us in a container. It should not limit our capabilities. Many elderly individuals always blurt out that they are already too old and worse dying to do certain stuff, to learn new things and to try new technologies. They don't plan anymore, they think that they are already near death, that anytime soon they will expire.
What were they thinking? Just lay down in their beds and wait until they're ready to be embalmed?
Fear of death results to unfruitfulness, being stagnant and benign. Because since we are preoccupied thinking about our death, the supposed to be productive moments are just consumed through thinking about death. It merely shrinks our world.
Some however are too busy earning good points for afterlife. Earning cookie points as many of us call 'em. It's not bad to earn points, to be good to reach heaven and sing like cherubs after death; but we are still on earth! We must still live normally as earthlings. So fear of death sometimes also diminishes the meaning of life here on earth.
Sometimes, fear of death can harden a person's heart. Because of not wanting to die, they plan to be secured; and because they feel that they're safe and insured, they do bad things to other people. A simple example would be something like this; if a person doesn't have any money to eat, of course he will die; but in order to survive and be secured he'll do bad things like stealing just to satisfy his hunger and live.
We don't hold our future. We should not boast our future plans because we don't knoe what holds us in the future. As I have said, it is not bad to plan but we should also remember that nothing's permanent here on earth, anytime soon we'll be facing death and diminish our earthly existence. Remember: Death is Untimely.
Many people are afraid of death because this is the only life that we know; because we don't know what's really there after death. Many of us are like trapped frogs in a well. We think that life is only confined in that small and deep well; unknown to us is a larger horizon, a greater life beyond the well. Our life here on earth is only a state, a phase of our life and there are greater things that awaits for us after life on earth with God.
Death also breaks our relationships to other people and apparently to the people we love so much. Knowing this, we should not attach ourselves too much with others. What if the person you are attached most dies? What would you do? Of course life goes on because you are still alive, and you still have a reason to live. As I have said, nothing is permanent here on earth so if God gave you a partner, a friend, parents, we should be thankful to God that He lent us these people in our life to be happy even if sometimes it's just for a small moment of time. Of course it's hard losing someone, it's normal to grieve after death but after a short time of grieving, we have to pick up our life too.
So how are we really going to face death?
PRE-EMPTY DEATH. Transcend your earthly existence and begin to live in eternity while your are still here on earth. Then if death comes, it will not anymore a big surprise and you will not make a very big adjustment. Have a healthy level of detachment while you engage life. Through this, it is easier to accept that death is there if it's there, and if it is not there then it is not there; that we'll not cry over spilled milk; that we will not live life in worry, regret and anxiety.
ACCEPT DEATH. We should be happy that we'll finally graduate from this earthly existence. Besides, we will not actually die hence it's only our body but not our real selves which will die and be buried.
SEE DEATH AS A BLESSING. Isn't it that life here on earth is actually chaotic, full of misery, anger, fights, intrigues, etc? Isn't it more wonderful meeting Him finally? But of course I am not promoting death. To live is Christ but to die is gain.
DON'T ALWAYS THINK ABOUT DEATH. Live life on earth in accordance to God's will and if we die, then there would be no problem because we know we are in good hands. Don't think too much about how to save yourself when you die, just enjoy life and be like Christ; live like Christ and everything will be alright. AKA Cross the bridge when you get there.
ENJOY LIFE even if we knoe that sooner or later we'll die. Live and balance life, plan as you would live very long and live as if each day will be your last because it might just be your last. So if you have something to share, share it nao! If you think you have something to say, then say it nao.
Also, you have to live your life! If you will be an addition to someone else's life, you must also live and enjoy your own life. I know many of us do a lot of sacrifices to our loved ones but we are not living sacrifices here on earth so we must enjoy our own lives too.
Life must be beautiful. Don't be anxious because it can shorten your life; love others and also be loved, help others but also receive help from others, do your part and get your share.
Many also don't get a life because they limit themselves so much, they're too protective of their own lives. Some doesn't swim because they think they might drown. Of course we cannot avoid accidents and the like, but we should also live and enjoy life.
So if in the act of living and enjoying life, in the act of full life that is, and if that's where you finally meet death, you should then not regret about it because there are many people who are alive but they are actually only existing because they don't have a life. In other words, maximize the possibility of your safety, minimize danger but we should take risks because that is life all about. And if in the process of taking risks and in having a full life then your life is compromised, then it really happens. Did you get the point?