I used to be, mortality used to be the driving force of all of my nightmares. I will never forget at the delicate age of six while watching All Dogs go to Heaven, when my brother laid it on me that when you go to Heaven you don't just get to come back to visit your loved ones left behind. I remember clinging to my mother's hip so afraid that if I let go, one of us would slip away. It took me a long, long time to feel like I could let go, but when I finally did, I was better for it.
The truth is we all have limited time on this side of Heaven. No one knows when their time will come. Life is fragile, period. Healthy children experience catastrophic accidents, they develop incurable diseases. Young adults have bodies that quickly begin to age from diseases that science simply have not caught up with. Humans sometimes suffer and then they die. Death is everywhere, if you choose to look at it that way; it surrounds us, encompasses us, and if we let it, it can be completely overwhelming.
I believe in miracles. I believe God chooses to fully heal select few on this side of Heaven. Why some and not others, we may never know. I can tell you though, I do not believe with any piece of my heart that it is because He loves some more than others. I truly believe that just as His miracles, He uses our suffering and unhealed bodies for the greater good as well. Maybe it just isn't for us to know. Maybe just not yet anyway. One day we will all be healed even if not on Earth, and knowing that brings me a huge sense of relief, a sense of calm, the kind of peace I need to keep believing it will all be okay.
The end is only the beginning. This world we get to live in is just a stepping stone into the beauty that awaits us. Knowing the glory that sits just a gate away from where I lay blankets me in tranquility when I begin to worry. I long for the freedom my body will have and the painless future that will come with the new life I will be given.
So, why is talking about dying so hard?
It is hard to not ache for the people I would leave behind. As I see those four beautiful faces every morning, no matter how much pain I am in, I recognize them as God's little slices of Heaven here on Earth. I couldn't imagine a world without them in it, even if it is the most perfect world of them all, one that would give me everything and more. I need my babies more than I need air to breath. How would it feel to be able to see, but not touch them? I am aware my husband would not be coming with me, even if he held my hand until the very last breath escaped my lips. Would I urn for him? Would I know time has passed at all?
Sometimes the whole idea is just hard to believe. No matter how many times you witness it, the heartbreak, the pieces of someone's life shatter to the floor, it is really hard to imagine yourself in a position where it is you. Humans innately think they are part invincible. The idea of death is just too surreal. It is extremely hard to come to terms with something you can't even begin to wrap your mind around.
You want to believe that you are going to be the one who will beat the odds. No matter what it is you are facing there is always some kind of success and failure rate. It is only natural when the failure is death that you would want to be the successor, I mean anything less would be giving up right?
Even when I die, I will have never given up.
It irks me beyond belief when people say that those who have died have "given up," or "given in" to their disease. I know it is just a commonly used gesture to speak of the newly departed, but it gives an air as if the person who has passed did something wrong, as if they could have done more, if only they had tried a little harder.
I will fight until there is nothing left to give, and even then I will not have given up. When all the pieces fall around me, and I know that there is nothing left to do, but to give in, I will do just that. I will leave this world a fighter, a lover, and most importantly a friend, a daughter, a sister, a mother, and a wife, who wanted nothing more than to see the ones she loved give this world everything they've got with the tools God gave them.