This post will be very religion-centered, because I’m part of the 99% of the world’s population that believes in a higher power of some sort lol.
Death is a natural part of life. -Yoda, Star Wars
No, but seriously, Yoda has a point. I think the more we cling to a purpose outside of a physical manifestation, the less death frightens us, just like Yoda did not fear death because he believed in the Force. I hear this from people of every religion, throughout the whole world. There is a certain power that religion gives people, especially since the idea of death is such an unknown.
We cannot pretend to assume that we know how God should rule the world. In Catholicism, that’s a sin that we call pride. Saying that we could do better than God by letting all babies and all animals live forever makes our egos climb all the way to sky, and it doesn’t fix any problems. My priest once told a story about a man who was blaming God for all the problems and why the hell God wasn’t fixing anything and God just rolls his eyes and goes, “Joe, for goodness’ sakes, I am fixing these problems. I made you.”
Kinda silly to blame God for the world’s problems when all we do is sit on a couch eating sweet potato fries and watching Gilmore Girls. But it’s also so EASY to just blame God. It’s easy to blame anyone besides ourselves.
The idea of death itself, for me, is one that I’ve handled through my life as not something final, but something blessed. Death is not the end – it’s only the beginning – but we have to see it that way. Catholics like to joke that, well, if ice cream and dancing are all you care about, then God will give it to you in heaven. My mom can’t eat any flour and sugar and YEARNS for the day she dies and gets to heaven and finally gets to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
But in seriousness, Catholicism also teaches that, when we die and go to heaven, for goodness’ sakes, we won’t WANT those things. We’ll have much better things.
I do fear an unannounced death. I think everyone in the world does, and that’s only natural. But I’m not afraid of BEING dead, and I gladly look forward to a peaceful death, in my sleep or surrounded by my loved ones. Everyone deserves the right to die in such a peace.