Sunday, February 17, 2013

Love After Death

As far back as I can remember, I've had a preoccupation with death. I thought everyone did. Only over the last couple of months have I begun asking people how often they think about death or dying. For the most part it is far less than I do. This was a revelation.

It also explains, I suppose, why I'm a bit more serious than most. Though I'm not a physician and do not work in a medical hospital, I do think about life and death everyday. Not only the meaning of life, when I write, but the agonies of life, when I work. Struggles with mental health are struggles to maintain hope, balance and motivation in life.

For people who are dying, the mental health struggles are to maintain belief that they have lived a good and worthy life that will leave a lasting legacy, avoid guilt over people and problems they will leave behind, and faith that the death they face will be humane, and the possible afterlife they enter blessed.

Often, a reckoning with death will leave you with lessons for the living. There are found in books like Tuesdays with Morrie, written by Mitch Albom about his conversations with Morrie Schwartz, who was a great teacher. Or The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, also a great teacher.

I am not, personally, a huge fan of books like this because I like getting my lessons sideways rather than head-on. In other words, I don't like being told what to do. But these books do have great quotes and lessons and if you can apply them, more power to you. Here's some from Morrie:

On Getting Meaning into Life:
"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning." (p.43).
On Needing Others:
"In the beginning of life, when we were infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive, right? But here's the secret: in between, we need others as well." (p.157) 
On Death :
"Death ends a life, not a relationship." (p.174) 

And from from Randy:
“When you’re screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore that means they’ve given up on you…you may not want to hear it but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you and want to make you better.” ― Randy PauschThe Last Lecture
“Kids need to know their parents love them. Their parents don’t need to be alive for that to happen.” 
― Randy PauschThe Last Lecture
“I love all three of my kids completely and differently. And I want them to know that I will love them for as long as they live. I will.” 
― Randy PauschThe Last Lecture 
 So both of these men were trying to reassure their loved ones the love they had for them would never end. And that nothing else really mattered. They didn't seem to struggle to believe this themselves. They already knew, so they were able to share to try to help us remember what's important.

Those who've had near-death experiences try to do the same. It's almost selfish, if you have knowledge of what comes after death, not to share that with others so they're not afraid or worried, if it can be helped. I have been reading about near-death experiences since I was a teen, and read another book this month, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander.  He went to heaven, and came back to tell us about it, and disprove all the ways it could have been a hallucination. It's pretty fascinating. It's more up my aisle--here's my mind-blowing experience, and how I tried to disprove it but couldn't. Make of it what you will.

But all you really need to know unless you want more :) is that we are loved by a higher being, and we are here on this earth to love others. When we leave, we retreat into a world of all love and no suffering. God is Love, and love is unbearably powerful.

This is why the truly spiritual among us are not angry. They are not arrogant. They are humble and peaceful because they are emanating love. That's all they are meant to be doing, and they do it better than any of us. But we can all do better at loving one another. It's not hard. Just focus on that. You'll be fine. If you've loved well, you've lived well, and you will be at peace for all eternity.

There's nothing else.

Love, Lisa

"Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in its spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.” 
― Viktor E. Frankl

1 comment:

  1. I don't know you and you don't know me, but I wanted to let you know that I think you are so gifted, blessed, and talented. When you say you have a preoccupation with death, I wonder what do you mean? Do you feel fear of death, because you don't know what will happen after you die? Or do you wonder about God? Are you wandering if He will say well done good and faithful servant? Or is it more of: you can't wait to see loved ones that have passed on? I would like to hear what you have to say about this matter of death. I wanted you to know that it is true when you said that God is Love, and love is unbearably powerful. And all He wants us to know is that we are loved by Him, and we are here on this earth to love others. But, I wanted you to know that God is someone you can know now. God is inviting you to come have a relationship with him today. God is the great comforter today in your mourning. God is our healer to mend our brokenness. He is with us 24/7. He will never leave you/me nor abandon you/me. He knows all things. He is our guide and helper. Have you talked with Him today? God speaks to us softly in whispers, for when we are so busy with life we can so easily miss out and not hear. Listen!!!! Seek Him!!!!!! Have you read His Word?