WordPress, like most companies, wants to create wealth, especially for WordPress. One way it does that is to create advertising that it will place on the sites that allow it. IE you go on a page and every time that you click on the ad, the advertiser gets people to its page and pays WordPress for this privilege. I’m not into advertisements on websites, and like some old-timer surfer, believe that they are a mighty pox that should be eradicated, like world poverty, and poorly made cups of tea.
But I digress. That last paragraph has nothing to do with death, I hear you say, and you know what, Dear Reader, you’d be right! But I promise I will get back to death, but back to ads first. WordPress has decided that they want to sell ad space. Nothing has changed since the newspapers, apparently. Ads to pay the ink and the journalist that writes the articles. If, however, the articles in the newspaper are dismally awful, then you might not want to read the newspaper in question, and therefore WordPress wants you to “create content” that is interesting or meaningful.
They have found a sneaky way of doing this. The buggers! On my dashboard for this site, yes that one that people seem to keep reading despite me writing everything, WordPress gives you subject hints about what to write about. Some were about what would happen if you won the lottery, another about describing your first computer, and then I saw this one. How does death change your perspective?
Soooo, let’s see what we write about death. It’s like those essay titles you used to get at school in English, French, or German, etc.
It is, of course, a very loaded question, and it would be easy to play to the clichés about death. As a religious person who is fortunate to have been blessed with a certain amount of faith and instruction, I know that death is part of life, and with taxes, happens to everyone, at least one day in their lives, usually at the end of their lives of course.
My first experience of death was at primary school, where a classmate’s brother was killed whilst crossing the road. It certainly made me aware of the dangers of crossing the road.
In 1979 my Great Grandmother died. This mother, grandmother, and Great Grandmother was the kind of lady that would wait for the milkman to deliver the milk with his cart and horse and pounce on the horse poop with a dustpan and brush to use the poop on her roses. Apparently, it was a savage competition. All this for a bucket of shit!
At the age of 13, my grandfather died. I was with my grandmother who had just lost her husband. I was crying and there she was comforting me instead of the other way around. With 70 years of age difference, we certainly had a different perspective on death.
In 1987, my uncle died prematurely, and I remember seeing the family walk up the aisle in the church behind the coffin that contained his body crying. In 1989, it was my grandmother’s time to leave this world behind and enter the next world, and it took me six months to cry.
In the last twenty years, I have lost school friends, a cousin, four aunts, two uncles, and a nephew, and when going through depression, I could have been next on the list. Statistically, I am closer to death than my children, but death can come at any time. Now, at 51, I am not afraid of death. I have accepted that this has happened and can happen, and although not something I would wish upon anyone, you know it becomes more and more likely.
It is always saddest for those left behind, and we feel the part of the deceased took in our lives, missing from us, and this missing part hurts like bloody hell. So, if death is inevitable, then how do face it? Some atheists have told me that you live, and then you die and you cease to exist. How can that be? The dead mentioned earlier in this article are still in my heart and therefore must still exist somewhere. As a Catholic, I believe in eternal life, not for my body, but for my soul. That soul lives in my body, but there is no way of identifying it. The soul makes me, me. It is like talking about my spirit. When I die, my body will die, and my soul will be judged by my creator. What happens to my soul will depend on how I spent my life preparing myself for my death. This death that is part of life… If I have rejected my God, then my soul will be separated from Him and will spend eternity in hell separated from God forever. If I have merited heaven but my soul still has the stain of sin on it, then it will be purified in the fires in purgatory, and once cleansed of sin, may enter Heaven, or if I die in a state of grace, then I will enter Heaven directly and spend eternity with my God.
So, does death change my perspective? And if so on what? On my life? On the way I chose to lead my life? Possibly. I will die one day. It will happen. I hope I will be prepared and I pray for those who have died and have gone before me. Some will say that I am delusional for believing in a big guy in the sky and that it ends when you die. The difference between me and that person is that I have hope, faith, and love. And yes, it changes the way I try to lead my life.
Well, that was an interesting exercise, and I might try it again. I hope not to have been morbid or overdone the whole thing, but I have been honest with you. Those who believe, and who accept Catholic doctrine, pray for the souls in purgatory, as they pray for us, even more so when they are delivered into God’s Presence in heaven. It’s good to have people on your side.