So it turns out that you cannot pretend to be dead for ever. A bald chap who sailed out to sea (but didn’t) and made a big splash by pretending to lose his memory (but hadn’t) took a trip to Panama and tried to set up a new canoeing business (but couldn’t). Did he really think that his family would never discover that his wife’s new home included a canoeing business? I don’t believe they could have kept up the charade. How many other people aren’t really dead, I wonder?
A hairy chap, originally hoping to unite all of his people by splitting a country apart has been found on a bus going about somebody else’s business (but not in Panama). I wonder whether his family ever saw him while he was pretending not to be a national hero, for example at Christmas. But then maybe he has been doing other things each Christmas. His appearance suggests he may have been moonlighting these past thirteen years in a seasonal role. It would explain why my stocking has been empty all this time: I have been praying for his capture and imprisonment for years.
We have been thinking about preparing wills and what would happen to Lily if we died. So far all the money would go to my husband if I died and to me if he died, and to Lily if we both died. So that’s simple. And I would prefer to have a funeral where people could tell the truth, enjoy good music, food and company and then go on to scatter my ashes somewhere beautiful. I still haven’t decided where, but preferably a river or woodland.
This is not morbid. This is reality, and it is ok to talk about death. If I’m in the right mood (for example, if I want to publish post-humously and make more money) I could always fake my death and see how everyone reacts, but I don’t feel it is really my style. The chap who planned his own pre-death wake last year found that he didn’t quite make it, which was somewhat of a nuisance for his family and friends, who had hoped to see him there. But death happens – to all of us. I was considering my welcoming party in heaven last night, and could think of dozens of people who would be excited to see me, and who I would also be excited to see again (or meet). It was quite interesting considering the range of people I have known who have died as Christians and how enthusiastic they all used to be to see me when they were alive.
A friend of mine has terminal cancer and I witnessed her signing for a life insurance claim last week. It was a moment of business. A moment when I felt I could do the kindest thing and put my name down. I have prayed for her healing, and will continue to pray, but don’t know what God has planned for her. She is not a Christian. If she survives she will have an amazing testimony. If not, perhaps she will experience God’s love in her life through her Christian friends. I cannot swap places with her. But I can love her all the way along and not be afraid to deal with death.
I am not afraid of death because I know who holds the keys to eternal life. I am not afraid to talk about death because it is natural. All my life I have been as excited about dying as I am about living. If I live, I live with a purpose. If I die, I gain.
One of my great-grandmothers used to say something like this: ‘live as if you will live one hundred more years, but always be ready because the Lord may come tomorrow’.
If I live one hundred more years there will be an even bigger welcoming party in heaven!