The Flickering Light – What Death Means
Truly, dying is something all living creatures do. It is in essence the definition of living. You must live to die. That does not help us when death is unexpected or tragic or we are simply not ready for it. The fact that death happens to us all is of little comfort to those who have seen someone die, or lost someone who was young, in an accident or victim of a crime. To lose someone in such an unexpected and unfair way has its own wounds to address, redress and heal. In many ways, that kind of death is a very different experience and the process the living must endure is just as tragic and leaves those outside of the pain helpless.
When we do know that death is coming, we are offered a lot of information about the reasons someone is dying and about the actual physical process of dying. For those of us who heed a higher calling, we look to our clergy for answers and comfort. It is often in faith that people find some peace through the process – those who are dying and know it and those who are surrounding the dying and don’t want to acknowledge it.
Depending on your view of life and, yes, death, you may look at dying as simply a physical process in which the body ceases to function and the person is physically gone. They are simply no longer here with us to laugh, cry, talk, drink, visit, or dine. The dead are no longer in any pain and are free to be unburdened by the discomfort they may have been experiencing. They are “at peace” and that give the living peace and a way to begin healing from our loss.