Thursday, December 8, 2011

Death isn't the end, it's the beginning...

“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.      

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