Living with The Reality of Mortality.


Living with the Reality of Mortality
Three of my friends have died recently. Contemporaries. Men with whom I had shared part of life’s journey. One after a long battle with cancer, one suddenly of a heart attack while out walking with his beloved wife, and the most recent, tragically, in a car accident last Wednesday.
I will attend the most recent friend’s funeral in Taupo tomorrow. And I will grieve for him, for his wife and children and grandchildren.
But I will also grieve for myself. For the passing of life, thankfully for the good times and successes, and regretfully for the mistakes and wrong turns I have made in life. Is that morbid self-pity? Yes, in some wayswinding valley. it is, but it is also coming to terms with the reality of mortality.
Of course, once you get into your 60’s and 70’s, your contemporaries start dying. That’s what happens in life. And you know your own turn comes relentlessly closer. I’m comfortable with that event, if not with the process.
Tomorrow I will honour my friend, speak words of sympathy to his family, laugh at the events recalled, affirm some of the great words of the Christian faith, and probably weep a little. I will thank God for the times our life journeys intersected and ran together.
At the funeral of the first-mentioned friend I jotted down my own funeral eulogy in the margins of the service sheet. Those who know me will be amused to learn that I got it down in 40 words. I am comfortable with both the form and content of what I wrote.
I don’t have a detailed idea of what happens after physical death, and that doesn’t bother me.
In the little self-eulogy I wrote, I finiGrief C S Lewsshed with the statement “Now he is with God.” And now, so are each of my three friends. That is enough.
C S Lewis wrote: “Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape.” A Grief Observed
I expect to see some new landscapes tomorrow.

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