Death is natural
Death is something natural to each and every creature just as birth and growth. Death belongs to the norm of being and belongs to nature. As we normally perceive things through our senses, things emerge, grow and decay and then they give themselves up so that others may emerge without the death of one, there cannot be the birth of another; without birth there cannot be drastic improvement and without drastic change there cannot be growth. Life is always a process of growth towards fullness that we have not reached.
“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It is the transition that’s troublesome”.
Death is inevitable
When I pause for a while and think, I realize that because of the life death of my forefathers and foremothers, I am living now. This generation will be overshadowed by the next and this life has to give way to another and so I have to give way to someone else. Life on this planet is wonderful, but my physical qualities are limited, my mental capacities are inadequate, and my spiritual potential is imperfect. All these limitations give rise to better, deeper or higher states and the elimination of the present points towards another future that is beyond me. Death is inevitable, even necessary. It is a consoling thought. But we humans have been very good in formulating a justification that we think is consoling to us. When the situation changes, we will formulate a similar justification to suit the changed situation and feel equally consoled by it.
“What greater pain could mortal have than this; to see their children deaf before their eyes?
Attitudes to death
We don’t really encounter our own deaths but only that of our beloved ones, like my granny, who was close to me. She has inspired me to write on such a topic as her death. We usually feel terrible sorrow when a loved one dies. I had to struggle with God because I wanted her to be present for my ordination. Death is not acceptable to any normal human being and it’s not so easy as well. We encounter our death everyday and most of the time we try to ignore them.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Death is a mystery and so is life
-Leonardo da Vinci
“We live by encouragement and die without it slowly, sadly, angrily”.
Resurrection of the person
The Christian assertion is that the individual, however minute she/he may find her/his fulfillment in the divine in accordance with her/his personality, it means all the hard work I have put in the dreams I have cherished, the disappointments I got used to, the love I have cultivated, the struggles I have undergone, the victories I have relished will all be part of the realized person that I will be in the life after. I really don’t know whatever my minute desires met or not, whether any the concrete projects have failed or succeeded. I don’t know in the plan of the cosmos that a small little person does make a difference. And the point of eternity is that a small smile still counts.
The resurrection of a person holds everything, including the minutest and the mightiest. It also holds the concrete matters even in eternity which we so not understand now. So I shall be a part of the whole totality, one with it, but determinate and distinct and relating freely and lovingly.
“The action of a man is not completed unless he dies”.
-Robert Edward lee
“Beginning today, treats everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to all the care, kindness, and understanding you can master, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again”
“The only religious way to think of death is as a part and parcel of life; to regard its with the understanding and the emotions, as the involvement condition of life”
By Ashvin Pandav SJ