I do not fear death, in view of the fact that I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered from the slightest inconvenience of it.
~ Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain* [1835-1910]
Of course, the inconvenience, aka grief, is for those who are still earthbound, feeling lost, and sometimes not a little shell-shocked. Whatever normal was, it is now really gone. In addition to the enormity of the change of emotional thought now required, there's all the bureaucracy - the paperwork, the notifications, the legalities, the dreadfully ill-timed inconvenience. And mostly because many of us fear the inevitable.
Death is an open-secret usually discussed in hushed tones and quickly diverted to something else. None of us really want to die and we sure don't want to talk about it. But we do need to think about doing a little preparation for the eventual, the definite, the - yeah, THAT.
Whether or not I believe in eternity with Jesus at the end of life is - for some purposes - irrelevant and another sort of preparation to think about. But what is uppermost in my heart is how do I help those who will be left to do all the work in the midst of missing me (they'd better miss me!)?
Lead me, God of the Inevitables, sooner into the acceptance that my life will end at some point. Let me live into the understanding that all will be well for me and better for my family if I do the planning, the will, living will/advanced directive, what kind of memorial or service, and whatever other arrangements for things to go as I'd like. And guide me to have the conversations with them to explain it on a sunny day when all is well and everyone is healthy. Perhaps if I give it the "matter-of-fact" treatment, we can then move through the cloudy parts quickly and move back into the other reason we got together - just to be together because we can, now. By then, they'll have all they need to do the necessary stuff more easily and they can just remember the many happy nows we have had. And I can go easily on my way into eternity without the slightest inconvenience. amen.
*Samuel Clemens, with his pen name of Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist most famous for his The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He was known as the greatest American humorist of his day leaving a treasure trove of great quotes and he has been called the Father of American literature.
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