Reading a superficial article the other day, I came across a surprisingly th0ught-provoking comment. It was an interview with Julieanne Moore, and in it she claimed the reason that she was so at ease with getting older was because she had accepted that one day she was going to die. I find that comment nigh on impossible to believe. The secret of growing old gracefully: ‘be positive about dying’. It’s a stoical concept, but surely never a human reality. I wait to be proven wrong.
People, especially those who identify themselves as being in some way spiritual, like to claim they are living for a better place, an eternal one. But when they look death in the eye, I’m fairly certain they will be fighting to live, and terrified to die. As a Christian, I do (in my better moments) look forward with joy to leaving this life and earth with all their pain, darkness and terrors behind. But because the idea of heaven is so beyond my imaginings, I find it hard to take in, and that is what makes it almost unbelievable. Does that make me a faithless person? I don’t think so. I take deep comfort from the knowledge that even Jesus, who had known heaven, sweated blood and begged His Father to spare Him the death that lay ahead.
If we embraced the idea of dying, surely we would begin to belittle the living we have to do now. Having MS, I am no stranger to my own human frailty, but what I find is, it doesn’t make me long for an end to suffering so much as treasure more the wonders of daily life, and hold on tighter to seeming mundanities.
But then, if heaven is everything good on earth without all the bad, then maybe it’s time for me to work on getting excited about it!