I felt betrayed by God. My heart was broken by the one who crafted me into existence – only to prematurely steal it. I failed to reason my deserving for a permanent absence. My wrongs were child’s play compared to many. I cried in remembrance of the time wasted on things unworthy of attention. The departure of my life made me crave it all the more. Death, mysterious in its nature, terrified me. He is a familiar stranger that I hoped I’d never meet. I wanted to be spared for “good behavior.” But he instead upheld his title as “undefeated.” Within hours I would be nothing more than a cadaver.
With the acceptance of my fate, I prayed. I was apologetic for my naïve pride. I also thanked God for my life and the people in it. At the brink of peace, gratitude, and joy, a seed of doubt sneaked into my thoughts. The uncertainty of heaven scared me. I longed for someone to prepare me for death, for some reassurance of eternal life validating my beliefs. I reflected upon my life realizing that I was the proof.
Feeling spiritually renewed, I informed my family. The news impaired them, sobbing filled the room. Although my circumstance were beyond my reach. I couldn’t help but feel like I failed them. My once bright future was limited to hours. I wanted my parents to witness my future success. And have a sense of satisfaction on my wedding day, and upon the lives of my children. Unfortunately, my genes died with me, and I died as I came.
The hardest goodbye was to my mom. We’ve conquered many battles together, but death was an unusual enemy, to all. In an effort to comfort her, I jokingly said, “the umbilical cord can withstand all adversity, even life and death.” She smiled, but tears continued to flood her face as she held me close. I felt safe in her arms, almost as if she could rescue me. It was there I wished to remain forever. However, I had to leave. I told my family to meet me at church in my final hour.
I have many friends, but Julia was the epitome of a true friend. Our friendship was rare. We were close, yet we had respectable secrets. But this secret effected more than myself. Tears were expected with the arrival of my news. She asked me, “why you?” My response was, “why not?” I advised my friend to view life as a timeline. That each present moment was becoming an instant past. I left with expressing my love and appreciation towards her. I encouraged her to live enough for the both of us.
My goodbyes were in order, but something continued to tug at my heart. I was reminded of a former friendship that recently ended abruptly. With pride no longer an excuse I called her, and apologized. I didn’t inform her of my current situation; her pity I did not seek. She accepted, and returned the apology. We talked as if it were any other Tuesday, resuming the friendship to its natural state. Death made me bold, yet humble. I only wished I had discovered this revelation sooner, instead of being a living procrastinator.
I spent the final hour of my life at church. I again prayed, this time at the altar, amongst my family. As they prayed for me I sent up requests for them. The sanctuary was still, and closed from the world. Death stalked all the more. Knowing my inevitable fate. I troubled my mind no longer. I enjoyed the reminiscing of my life’s greatest moments. I oddly found myself laughing. At the peak of joy, I witnessed a glimpse of heaven. Then, I remembered I was dying. Death achieved his final ambush. Because I would not stop for him, he kindly stopped me, and took my breath away.