It’s not as if it’s a big secret. We’re all going to die. But I’ve begun to think a little differently about this as the reality of it all began to dawn on me as I obtained a copy of my mom’s DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order last week.
To contemplate dying, for many of us most of the time, it seems like it’s an event that’s going to happen to some hypothetical “me” far in the future. If we were to consider it seriously, it likely would result in a significant re-ordering of our priorities.
Some people don’t even want to think about dying. My dad didn’t. It was frightening to him. So, whenever he was in the hospital, I would stay with him around the clock. I’ve learned that seeking to avoid important matters in life invests them with a tremendous amount of energy. But if we face them, if we let in what we fear, that energy dissipates.
I want to invite you to consider taking several actions. Would you list on pieces of paper three sets of things? First, write down five possessions that have brought you pleasure. Second, write down five activities that have brought you joy. Third, write down the names of at least five persons you’ve loved most in the world. What does all this say about your priorities?
Here’s another action. Write out letters to your loved ones and tell them what they mean to you. Don’t wait until the time of your death is near. Do it now.
Consider using “Five Wishes”, a document written in everyday language that helps all adults, regardless of age or health, to write out how they want to be cared for at the end of life. It’s unique among health agent forms because it speaks to all of a person’s needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual. It also helps to guide and structure discussions with your family and physician, making conversations easier. You can Google it online and get one, or email Journey’s office, and we’ll provide you with a copy.
Why would I even talk with you about this kind of stuff? Because as one of your pastors, I love you. It’s as simple as that.