We’re All Gonna Die, So…

trigger warning: death, suicide

Death has been a recurring thought for me this past couple of weeks. Not in the sense that I desire it upon myself anytime soon, but in the sense that recent events have forced me to reckon the reality of it in the midst of life. Within the past two months alone, I’ve brushed up against 8 deaths — 5 due to medical illness, 2 by suicide, and 1 by vehicular accident. I personally knew two of them, while the rest were relatives/friends of my friends, colleagues, and former students.

Wow. It still somewhat stuns me that I now have to use the past tense in talking about them. I now have to say “I knew them” instead of “I know them.” “They were” instead of “They are.”

Death brings up a mix of different thoughts and feelings in me. On the one hand, it comforts me to know that for all of life’s uncertainties, there is at least one fact which is absolute and self-evident, which I could really believe is true, and which everyone else knows to be true — and that fact is that everyone dies. On the other hand, that very fact is the same thing that confuses me. If we’re all gonna die anyway, then why are we alive at all? For pleasure? For struggle? For a little bit of both? For the entertainment of the gods? For the purification of our souls before we’re deemed worthy to enter a more blissful state?

Different philosophers answer these questions differently, as do different religions. See, our answer to why we’re alive at all tends to depend on our view of the afterlife, a matter largely dealt with by religion. While there is no question that we’re all gonna die, there are A LOT of questions (and more answers than we can fit in our puny brains) about what happens after we die. Some view this life as merely a preparation for the next life — in death the physical body decays but the soul ascends to heaven, where it rejoins with its loved ones and with God for all eternity. Others believe in reincarnation — the soul is reborn into another form, which usually depends on how the past life was lived. Still others believe there is simply no afterlife — when this life ends, we end with it.

Which of these do you believe?

I am Catholic, but when I think about death, I think about all these possibilities and I can’t help but consider that one possibility could really be just as likely as each of the others. I mean, if I were born into a family/place that practices, say, Buddhism, would I not have believed in reincarnation and nirvana instead of purgatory, heaven, and hell?

I don’t know if my lack of absolute certainty about what happens after death makes me one of the “lost” or the “unfaithful” in the eyes of the Catholic Church or the devout Christian, but right now this is truly where I’m at when it comes to the question of the afterlife. I feel like it’s practically a coin toss, and until the penny drops (sorry, can’t resist the pun!), one cannot know for sure what side will show. In other words, for now we each have our own views, but I guess we gotta die first before we’re finally afforded the answer as to what really happens after death.

I have sifted over my feelings and thoughts about death, and I’ve come to realize that when it is deemed my time is up (by whatever force decides it), I’m not afraid to die. Sure, I’m afraid of the pain and suffering of illness or whatever else might cause me to die, but ultimately it’s not death I fear, just the pain and trouble of getting to the other side.

In the meantime that I am alive, I allow thoughts of death to remind me to live. It’s so easy to forget our time here is limited. But when you’re staring at a coffin enclosing the body of someone you used to talk with, laugh with, be with…you get jolted back to the realization that there’s only so much time to talk with, laugh with, and be with the people you have in your life, meet ones you haven’t met yet, and talk with, laugh with, and be with them, too. So, you know, why not die later? The latest that you can. You have an eternity to be dead later on.

While you are here, live.

Live fully. ♥

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42 thoughts on “We’re All Gonna Die, So…

  1. Have you ever read anything by Sylvia Browne? I read a few of her books a few years ago and she presents this interesting version of “home” or heaven that really resonated for me. It really can be a very interesting topic, the aspect of death aside, especially if the discussion is with people who are open to the topic. Interesting post, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve read a few pages of one of her books, but not in-depth. Yes, I too think that death is really interesting to discuss, although not everyone is open to discussing the possibilities or even just considering the reality of it. Thank you also for dropping by and reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your insightful thoughts, Rachel! I agree that blindness is more natural to us than confrontation is. Confronting the reality of death is difficult, and I think many people fear it might rob them of the joy of living to think about death.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One thing’s for sure when it comes to afterlife, there are precious few witnesses! So I am going to apologise right here and say I have no belief in anything awaiting me after death. I cannot understand the need to have some further place to go when the body is worn out. No, a switch is thrown. Life is extinct. Much simpler that way, for me. Oblivion, you see, is truly that. I’m not going to be floundering around looking for the right door – I am not going to ‘be’ at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting thoughts! I do agree that it’s much simpler to think of it that way. Still, I think it takes courage to believe that one will simply cease to ‘be’ after death. Thank you for sharing, Frederick!

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  3. Pingback: 3 Day, 3 Quote Challenge, Day 2 – Crazy Lady In My Head

  4. Hello there. 🙂
    I agree with you that life is so short and precious. We have one life to live and it’s best to make the most of it.
    But I do believe that there is absolute truth and that you can know where you are going. I think nature points to God. I see evidence of Him through the ability to wake up every morning breathing, the way the dew drops dance on grass every morning, and the consistency of the seasons,
    God loves you so much! When I take time to look around me at nature I see how much He cares. The sunrise and the sunset are a declaration for me! The language of God’s love is greater than country line or color of one’s skin.
    God is holy and cannot look on our sin. Our sin separates us from God. But God sent His son Jesus to die on a cross and rise again so that you and I could know Him! Jesus paid the price for all, regardless of background, race, or tittle. We just have to say yes to Him!
    “But God demonstrates His own love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
    “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved.’ Romans 10:9.
    “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny Himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23b.
    Thank you for your honesty. I know it can be difficult to share your heart on a blog. I know you may not agree with what I’ve shared but God impressed you on my heart.
    Thank you so much for following my blog! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful message. I honestly believe the fear of death is what makes so many individuals turn to drugs and/or alcohol as a means to escape. Death can be a tough thing to think about, unless you can change the way you think and start seeing death as a new “possibility.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and sharing your insights! True, a change in perspective can change the way we live our lives. I always recall the line from one of the Harry Potter books that says, “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There is a huge difference between Faith in God than being a Catholic, or Protestant or whatever denominations. All this are just a decor of traditions. If you want to be free from this world. Follow Jesus… Be Baptised for the forgiveness of sin and receive the Holy Spirit… and your life will be changed.
    I might not know u..but i can see it through your writings too..
    Be blessed…
    Love
    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • “There is a huge difference between Faith in God than being a Catholic, or Protestant or whatever denominations.” ~ True, I get that. Thank you so much for reading, and for sharing your insights, Rochelle! 🙂

      Like

  7. Sometimes I think I must have been an old soul from the time I was born. I was an old soul in a young body, because I have always been prone to ponder things like this. Now I am an old soul in an old body, but on the inside I’m still much the same. Soul does not age. So after all my years of pondering, for me, I’m convinced of a couple things. We have a soul, and we didn’t get here by accident. And…out of all the nations who claim to have a word from God, the Jewish nation has the most weird, hard to explain, supernatural, logic defying, history of any nation I’ve ever seen. (I guess that’s 3 things.) There own natural history has convinced me of their supernatural connection, even though many of them failed to recognize Christ even as it was prophesied in their own book. So… As an American, I was convinced there is no other way to explain those weird Jews. There must be something to that book they wrote, even those who became Apostles of Christ. I’ve cast my lot with them, and have a great peace about it.

    Liked by 2 people

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