I’m not one who claims to know what’s going to happen when I die. As far as I know, it’s over. Done. All consciousness ceases, ends.
Having grown up with a religiously imposed imagination of the after life, this new acknowledgement is difficult for me to wrap my mind around. I don’t particularly like it; however, I’m not going to cheat this life banking on another one.
If a life after death happens, ok. If one doesn’t then at least I’m going to die alive. And it seems an unfortunate reality of the human experience that a lot of people don’t go out in such a way.
So far during this Lent, I’ve not allowed my thoughts to wander too far into my own mortality (though I get Ash Wednesday sort of asks us to do so). Still, I’m resistant.
Today I’ve waded up to my waist into, what are for me, poignantly unpleasant recognitions. I’m going to die. I understand that. I get it may be tomorrow or forty years from now. I can’t control when as much as I’d like to. It’s going to happen and there’s nothing I can do about it.
But what can I do? What can I control? Well, I have control over how I live. I have power over what I do with the breath I have left.
Death isn’t mine to manage. Life is enough.