Death May Come

We are born. We wait for death. We know death is inevitable. It is coming. However, we avoid it at every turn and deny its existence. It is the eternal lie we tell ourselves. And we’re convincing. All the way up till the moment it catches us.

I envy those who accept death when it stands before them. I can only wish I will be in such a state of acceptance when it is my turn. We spend our entire lives trying to escape the reality of death. Delusions of immortality are nothing new. We all possess them. As human beings we see the beginning and end of everything. It is how we cope with time. We cannot truly fathom eternity. So why is it we cannot convince ourselves that there is an end to us?


  1. My second wife's mother had the best death I've experienced ~ so far. She had beaten cancer once with agony, chemo and near death but when it recurred as bladder cancer she said, calmly, God was making a decision.
    Now she lived in a not-even a wide spot in the road northwest of Duluth, MN where the primary industry was peat moss mining. It snowed in May, there were winter squalls in October and the big trees were about as tall as me. It was a dreary, depressing place that she dearly loved.
    She lived across from the grocery co-op and sat in her easy chair, cross-legged, knitting endlessly while she kept one eye on the parking lot at the IGA and the other on the TV.
    She had her small family up for a week in the summer before her death. She took a long car ride on consecutive days with her son, then her daughter. She wrote her will for her modest home and meager possessions. When we left she told us she'd see us again when it was time.
    The following April we were there. She was in the hospital for three days. Everyone said good-bye. I remember there was still a ship stuck in the ice on Lake Superior. She was cremated in Duluth, there was a service in her tiny town the next day. We carried her ashes to Minneapolis and had them buried next to her husband.
    She was a simple woman but she was dignified when she faced her mortality.
    She'll never know it but she gave me quite a gift ~ an aspiration for facing the end of my life.

  2. My grandmother had a similar experience. When my father was very young (around 5 I believe) my grandmother was on her deathbed. She was not given long to live, but she pleaded with god to let her live to see her children grow up. Miraculously she took a turn for the better and was back to good health within a fairly short time.

    She lived long enough to not only see her children grow up, but most of her grandchildren as well. She was even blessed enough to know a few of her great-grandchildren. My father was crying next to her actual deathbed in 1995 and my grandmother told him not to worry because she asked for only her children, but was able to see her great-grandchildren. She was not worried to die. She felt that it was well beyond her time. She lived almost another 40 years past what she was supposed to, and believed she had been given more than she could ever repay.