oh, Death!

So many close family members have died this year that I find myself constantly and carefully tracing all my memories of those departed. During this Joyful season we call Christmas, I find it difficult staying in tune with the Christmas melody. In the midst of Christmas parties, slow-paced days, and renewed conversations with old friends, I find myself quieted.
Death humbles.
It has made me aware of the inevitable. It is the Constant Reminder. It is the Ruthless Teacher. It is the Unavoidable End. It comes like a storm without warning, changing everything I’ve known.
It always bends its victim and it often breaks. It will not forget about you. It is merciless. It is painful. It is incomprehensible. It is despairing.
Those celebrating Christmas believe that on some specific day in history, the Infinite became finite and that through this event, which they call the Incarnation, death would be dealt with once and for all. This is the Christmas promise, this is what gives the Christian hope. But even those standing in the centre of this belief are winded and brought to their knees when deaths ugly face appears.
Even the Incarnation wept when a close friend experienced the sting of death.
This year will bring back memories of funeral homes and dark clothes. The moments of joy will be overshadowed by the reality that the dinner table will have a few empty seats. Grace will be a little longer. Gift-giving will be a little shorter. Less wine will be drunk… or more wine. We will continue with our traditions but, oh, Death! you have certainly put a limp in my stride.

Categories: culture, Existential Ideas, Spiritual

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2 Comments on “oh, Death!”

  1. December 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    very honest and true words. Death does help you live life with more focus and abandon though.

  2. Larissa
    January 21, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    “It comes like a storm without warning, changing everything I’ve known.” In one sentence you poignantly describe the devastating effect death can have. Everything an individual believes they understand in life can be quickly undone. Death brings questions. Questions that cannot be answered by mortal man. Questions that we, as the human race believe we need to have answered. I used to believe there would be understanding in the mysterious “answer” or “reason” for a death. However, as my father said….What gives me the right to question God. My questioning implies judgment. And who am I to question the Creator of the world. How humbling. The world cannot always be understood and His ways are truly a mystery. Thanks Michael for your words. You are truly a gifted writer and your vulnerability brings others hope and inspiration.

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