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Faith Filled Friday: Facing Death

September 23, 2016

Most of this I wrote as an answer to one of Rose Wolfe’s (Living Free with disAbilities) commenters. Oddly, several posts I read after hers brought up the subject of death and the afterlife. On hers a terminally ill man was trying to deal with his impending death and depression. His complaint was that no one wanted to talk with him about his depression and dark feelings. On the others, people said they did not believe in God, or heaven or hell, and some said they were scared of what would happen after they breathed their last breath.
No one likes to deal with depression let alone death. Having been a nurse for over 40 years, I’ve seen more of both than I ever wanted to.
Thankfully, I have Jesus in my heart which takes away the fear of death–the unknown. It’s more of a translation–I’m here on earth one moment and the next, in heaven with Jesus. There is a huge variety of religions out there. It’s surprising to learn how many of them don’t believe in a heaven, hell, or even God.
The dying part does worry me a little. I’d like my death to peaceful and easy– a quick and simple release from this life. Honestly, I’d love to go up into the clouds with Christ’s Second Coming.
My worry comes from having Myasthenia Gravis. It is a neuromuscular disease that affects the body’s voluntary muscles including the respiratory ones. Granted most of the time we don’t think about breathing, our body takes care of it automatically. We do have some control, like when we hold our breath under water, so as the MG progresses it will affect my breathing muscles and I will have increasing shortness of breath. Not a pleasant thought. I’ve taken care of patients who needed help breathing near their end time. The very first one I had was during my student nurse days and definitely the hardest for me. I wanted to breathe for him.
I had trouble handling all the new diagnoses the doctors labeled me with–Myasthenia Gravis, fibromyalgia, and finally epilepsy. All that in one single year! Nurse or no, it was more than one human being could deal with. My good friend Dannie helped, but I tried not to bother her much and drag her into the depths of my pain. She was in her late 70s at the time.
The seizure medication made me suicidal. I kept praying about it, but never seemed to get an answer. A young woman started visiting me monthly from another religious sect. (I don’t remember which one.) I believe suicide is wrong, but I couldn’t get rid of the persistent thoughts about it. After a few months I confided in her. She showed me a verse in her Bible that said it was okay to commit suicide and left. I never saw her again. It was months later when she called. I think she was afraid that I might have acted on her advice.
I did get an answer to my prayers during a PT visit. The RPT was setting up to do my treatment and responded to my comment about suicide. I was talking about it to everyone! I don’t remember what she said, but the desire totally left after she made her comment. I never had the urge again. God’s hand had to be in that!
Preparing for death is fairly simple. You write out your will, select a couple hymns or other music you’d liked played at your funeral, write out a few comments or brief bio, and talk with your pastor and undertaker about your plans. Make peace with your family and friends while you’re able. Most importantly, ask Jesus to forgive your sins and come into your heart.
I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 12 years old. It’s been great having Jesus to talk to all these years. When no one else wants to listen He does. I’ve whined, complained bitterly, praised Him and even sang to God. I don’t think of myself as praying to an unknown deity, but more like talking to an old friend. He has been with me through some of life’s toughest times.
Once Jesus is in your heart, it’s easier to put on a ‘happy face.’ Those dark times will still sneak in. The devil doesn’t want you to be happy and joyful in the Lord.
If you don’t know Jesus as your personal savior, I strongly encourage you to seek Him, ask Him to forgive your sins, and come into your heart. You will find Him to be a good friend.
Some verses you might find helpful: John 3:16 & 14:2; John10:27; 2 Corinthians 5:7-8; Colossians 1:15 & 2:9; Isaiah 48:17; Romans 8:16

The following poem I copied a few years ago, but neglected to include the author’s name or the source that I got it from. My apologies. If anyone knows, please send me the info and I’ll do an addendum. ~ Connie

~DEATH~
WHAT A WONDERFUL WAY TO EXPLAIN IT

A sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to

Leave the examination room and said,

‘Doctor, I am afraid to die.

Tell me what lies on the other side.’

Very quietly, the doctor said, ‘I don’t know..’

‘You don’t know? You’re, a Christian man,

and don’t know what’s on the other side?’

The doctor was holding the handle of the door;

On the other side came a sound of scratching and whining,

And as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room

And leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.

Turning to the patient, the doctor said,

‘Did you notice my dog?

He’s never been in this room before.

He didn’t know what was inside.

He knew nothing except that his master was here,

And when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.

I know little of what is on the other side of death,

But I do know one thing…

I know my Master is there and that is enough.’

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2 Comments
  1. Just started reading this and company arrived for the weekend. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Love what you wrote.

  2. Loved what you wrote. Also, I like the vignette. It gives a good explanation of hope, faith, and love. We all know that death is inevitable, and, I think, at one time people were more comfortable with it because they experienced it as part of life. Now, death has been removed to sterilized environments. Many fear the process of dying, understandably so. Recently, a dear friend died. In his last days, He saw God. This is what we can expect: peace – because we believe.

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