I've been faced with the reality of death on a number of fronts this week. First, there is the seemingly unending number of homicides many of them multiple in the news. Second, there are some people I know who currently are on hospice and are at the end of their days here. Third, the death of Roger Ebert has somewhat unnerved me. Here's a quote from one of the news articles:
"Ebert said he did not fear death because, writing in 2010 that he didn't believe there was anything "on the other side of death to fear."..."I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state," he wrote. "I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You can't say it wasn't interesting."
I wondered what he meant "I was perfectly content before I was born." I can only presume that he thought he had existed before birth. His answer was that the same contentment would greet him on the "other side." It makes me shudder to think about what the Bible clearly states and those who seem so cavalier about the topic of death--especially their own. I also wonder to whom was he grateful for the "gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter." Where do they come from? Doesn't a gift presume a giver? It's the same confusion I feel when agnostics and atheists celebrate Thanksgiving. The holiday's name screams that their is Someone to whom we should be thankful.
Death is a sobering topic. Like I said I'm reaching an age when my friends are dying in greater numbers. Those older than me in the family are lessening yearly it seems. My generation will soon be the matriarchs and patriarchs of the clan. I remember my Dad talking about the same thing. He now is the patriarch of the family and has been for some time. Yet he too is slipping from us. I can only pray that people who don't believe the Bible might be willing to think it through a bit more. Eternity is a very long time.