At Death's Door
At Death's Door
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be standing at death's door? It's not something most of us want to consider, but... at some point in our lives, we must.
If we have spouses or children, this is something we do consider from time to time. We may wonder, what will happen to our loved ones if/when we die? Will they be able to cope, emotionally, with our loss in their lives? Who do we want to care for, or raise, our children (if they're younger)? Would we want our spouse to consider remarriage, down the line? These are all questions many of us have wondered.
As is often the case, though... many people don't think about death (in any real detail, anyway), until we're standing right outside death's door, so to speak. Maybe you're in a terrible accident and you're looking at life-long medical issues. Perhaps, like many women, you discover a lump in your breast while you're taking your morning shower. Sometimes, people find themselves in horrific circumstances we might not think may happen to us. Your day is going rather well, until you go to make your normal deposit at the bank... at which time you discover the "odd-looking" man, standing in the corner. It's only seconds later when you find out, this man is there to rob the bank! He orders all doors locked and everyone in the bank to get down, on the floor. What do you think now? Are you wondering how, in the world, this ever happened to you? Are you thinking about whether or not you will ever get to see your family again? Surely, these are things you consider when in such a terrible situation.
If there's one piece of advice I can give someone NOT in this situation, I would say, "Never say never!" Never think, "That wouldn't happen to ME" or "I'm still young, yet! Those things don't happen until you're older." Time and time again, we've all witnessed (or, at least, heard about) someone whose life SEEMS like it's going well, and... then... a routine test comes back, and the results are questionable. The test needs to be repeated. These results come back, and there's still something "not right." Another, more precise, test will be done. When these results come back, the news is not good. This is not an older person, per se, we are talking about, but... someone in their early 30's. Does that makes us think twice about this situation... the fact that, the person is young, in relatively good health and seemingly has their entire life ahead of them? It should.
I'm not sure if death is something we accept, or something we simply tolerate. I tend to think, the latter. If we turn our attention to God's word, the bible, we know that death is NOT natural... something God never intended to happen to his children. It was simply a punishment handed down, to the ancestors of Adam and Eve (which we, all, are), for the choice that was made back in the Garden of Eden. That said, this is certainly not a "life event" we look forward to, but... rather, one we are forced to endure.
How does one feel when they know their time has been shortened? Not good... that's for certain! You might feel a wide range of emotions, such as... shock, despair, anger, hatred, depression, grief, isolation, inconsolable. One day, you might be in an emotional position to better cope, and another... you might just want to be left alone, to "deal" with the grief you're feeling on your own. You may be angry at the people around you... for not being in your situation, but always trying to say the right thing, when they couldn't possibly understand what you're going through. You might be angry with God... for, seemingly, abandoning you in your time of need, or... for, taking you away from the life and the family that is your world.
It's important that we allow ourselves time to grieve, but also to delve into our emotions and our feelings... to see if how/what we feel is truly realistic, or rational. For example... it helps, tremendously, to know that God is not the one to blame for things that go wrong in our lives. Either, it is by our own, irresponsible and misguided actions that we put ourselves in certain, bad situations, or it is as a result of the choice Adam and Eve made, back in the Garden of Eden (that choice, as mentioned previously, was "handed down" to us, as the ancestors of Adam and Eve, so... therefore, we are being punished, as God warned Adam and Eve we would be, for their wrongdoing), creating our impending imperfection and thus allowing a "gateway" for Satan to manipulate and tempt us into doing what is wrong. These are things, hopefully, we know already; however... some do not.
Above all else, it is important- VITAL, really!- to have an abundance of faith, as well as a support system filled with loving, caring, compassionate and, likewise, faithful people. You will need someone to do something silly to make you smile... to visit you when you've lost all hope... to get you out of the house, when all you really feel like doing is curling up in bed and never leaving... to visit you in the hospital, reading scriptures to you or telling you funny stories... to attend to the "little things" you're unable to, such as house-cleaning... to continue to love you, support you and make more memories with you, so that when you're not here, your family and friends have a vivid reminder that you continued to live life, and you never gave up hope. That will be the best legacy of all!
So... the same as you did when you were not ill, give death everything you've got! Kick it in the butt! Send it packing! Let it know who's boss, and that you aren't about to give up without a fight! Then... when you are standing outside death's door... you will be much more prepared, and at peace, than you were before your journey... leaving this earth more wise and more loving than it was when you entered it.