“Death? Why this fuss about death? Use your imagination; try to visualize a world without death!” – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A couple years ago on July 4th I was standing on my balcony outside my apartment watching fireworks light up the night sky. As I watched the fireworks all of the sudden I felt scared, literally afraid; I was afraid of death. I kept having thoughts about death mixed with a feeling of panic. This experience was odd but I’ve never forgotten it.
I’m always saying, “I don’t want to die, I want to live forever” but I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of death and what it really means to me. As the idea of death becomes clear and as I understand my beliefs about death through study and prayer, a thought came to me the other day: I’m not going to die; death doesn’t really exist for me.
The definition of death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Death is life ending. However, I believe in an afterlife so death can’t exist for me. The afterlife is a belief that an individual’s soul survives the death of the body and by some natural or supernatural means continues existence in a spiritual realm; commonly referred to as heaven. If my soul (the essence of who I am personally) survives death, then death doesn’t exist as a means of ending life; death becomes of a state of being as I pass from this world to another. The word death was invented for those people who don’t believe in an afterlife. For those people death is life ending. So I have nothing to fear about death; it’s just the next step in my journey through life.