Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A brief reflection: Have you ever dodged death or seen it up close?

Good Day World!

Have you ever faced death?

Has your life ever been on the line? Have you watched loved ones die? Strangers die? Heard someone’s last breath, and saw life flee from their eyes?

Without a doubt, one of the most misunderstood and feared aspects of life is death.

In our Western culture, we generally do not think of death until the time comes for someone close...or our time is near.


"...death is essentially the shedding of the body."

What remains, forever, is the soul.

Thus, "...death can be looked at as a great opportunity...the ultimate healing...the start of a [life] someplace else." - Stephen Knapp


Ive looked into the grim face of death and survived several times while fighting in Vietnam. Even before I went into the Army, death showed itself to me. While mountain climbing in high school I was confronted with death’s finality.

Two friends and I found ourselves in a bad position while climbing. One of them fell to his death. I nearly did, but was able to break my fall. Those moments when I was rolling down the mountain – loose shale offering no grip – I saw death.

My whole life didn’t pass in front of me however. I simply thought I was going to die and was having a hard time accepting it.

I stepped on a landmine in Vietnam, but it didn’t go off. Turned out to be an anti-tank mine and I wasn’t heavy enough to depress the detonator!

I didn’t know that for several gut-wrenching minutes as my squad leader carefully probed around my foot with a knife, trying to determine my options. I was so afraid that I pissed myself.

Again, there was no instant replay of my life flashing before my eyes. Just an immense sadness that I was going to die. By the time it was determined I wouldn’t set off the mine I felt like I had died, and then came back to life.

My joy at being alive was indescribable. The lesson I learned was priceless. You never know when you time is up so you better make the most of it.

I don’t fear death.

Those days are long gone. Nor, do I embrace death. I know it’s just the final act in this drama we call life.

What lies beyond is a mystery that won’t be solved until our time comes. Meanwhile, we should live life to the fullest. Love more, and hate less.

Time for me to walk on down the road…



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Eben Alexander, M.D. neurosurgeon describes his death experience of consciousness which occurred while he was in a 7 day coma from bacterial meningitis. Being a brain surgeon gave him an insight to all of the physical and chemical reasons possible for such experiences. One by one him explained why none of them could apply to his lucid, conscious awareness during his coma. An interesting read for anyone curious about the near-death-experience.

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