Mortality: mor·tal·i·ty môrˈtalətē/ [noun] 1. the state of being subject to death. 2. death, especially on a large-scale.
Too often I’m reminded on our brief existence and mortality. I personally have faith and belief that my mortality is in the hands of the almighty, loving, and caring heavenly Father that is my Creator–and with whom I have a personal relationship with. However too often in my weak and finite human form I am frightened of leaving this world behind— leaving behind family and the relationships of this world, the things I’ve accumulated, and that status I hold in the minds of friends and acquaintance alike.
I’ve watched and listened to the stories as many have passed from this world; family, friends, and acquaintance and it always puts a heavy feeling on the days and weeks following and often even longer depending on the relationship I had with the departed or even the relationship I have with their family. As a person with a personal relationship with my creator I’m told that “they have gone on to a better place”. If this is really true— or should I say if I truly believe this, then there should be no fear or disappointment but rather only joy and celebration at the lost of a dear loved one. But when was the last time you went to a football game and at the end after the home team has won do you see everyone walking out quietly with faces of personal meditation and sadness? I’ve never seen a group come out of a funeral home with bright colors jumping up and down in excitement for the departed. Even at many services it is said “they wouldn’t have wanted us to be sad— so let’s rejoice with them as they are rejoicing now”.
The other comments I’ve heard over the past few years as young people face their mortality earlier that anticipated is “God loved them more” or “They had finished what God had them here on this earth for”. How does either of these comments make those survived by the departed feel any better. Might as well say to them “God doesn’t love you as much as he loved Bob, you better do something about it” or “You just aren’t doing what God has you here on this earth for, maybe you should get back to work so you can die too”.
I’m also often shocked by people saying “It was God’s will that they die at this time”. Really!?! God sets in to action the events of a man arguing with his boss, driving his boss to the point where he must fire the man, the man goes to a bar to drink himself nearly to death, decides it is time to go home, gets in his car and crashes into the young mother taking her kids to school killing all of them including the child inside her? You can honestly say “that was God’s will for them”! I can’t, and I can’t accept that as a fact. If you told me “God allowed it to happen” I can digest that a little better [and that is a different blog for a new day].
However all this doesn’t address the fact that your and my mortality is frail and held almost at the whim of the moment. I tell my wife so often to hurry because we are going to be late. She takes her time finishing and when we finally get out of the house ten minutes late we are held up even longer because of a fatal car accident that just happened ten minutes before. Now what is my reaction— It was in those moments before that I was so angry that we were late but then just moments later all of that means absolutely nothing because someone else has met the end of their existence.
I believe as humans no mater our faith, beliefs, or the lack thereof, we will always be consumed by our own mortality and that of our loved ones. We can say we live for eternity in a better place, or that when this life is done it is done but none of that changes our fears for today. Is there a way to live fear free? A personal relationship with and faith in our Creator can definitely bring peace to our fears. One must always remember it isn’t a once and done situation, or a relationship on Sunday morning from the pew only but rather an ongoing life decision to face the fear of our mortality with respect and honor— I believe we must also celebrate our own mortality on this side so that when they say in the end “They wouldn’t have wanted us to be sad” it can actually be a very exact and true statement that our friends and family heard us say and watched us live as we celebrate life and mortality.