How many times have I tried to get the words to move from my heart to my keyboard on this post? No seriously… I was wondering if you knew. It is a huge number for sure but it escapes me. I still don’t know how many times I will re-read this and change a word here and a paragraph there.
This may just be another diary entry that never sees the light of the internet… but you might be reading it tomorrow. Maybe I will die next week and my wife will do me one last favor and simply log in and publish every half-baked draft that I have saved. Yep, you will get all those witty Calvin and Hobbes commentaries, and a bunch of drafts that simply have one acronym (WTF) and a link to some news article or video that blew my mind.
Either way, if I die, it will be the way that I go that poses the quandary of this post. To understand where my head is at, it might help you to understand how I feel about death. I have no use for funerals. I have never actually been to one. Everyone is so sad. I despise that people could come to my funeral to say goodbye to me. It is the one thing that death prevents. I am dead. If you never let me know how you felt about me when I was alive, don’t bother now. Funerals are for the living and I want mine to be a celebration of my life, not my death.
This likely won’t be too difficult for many to imagine as there wont be a ton of people mourning my loss aside from some misguided family members. Even the funeral home guy will be ticked off that I want a plain pine box, a’la Clint Eastwood.
On the flip side, let us talk about life. You have ideas on what your life means whether you believe in God or believe that some psycho warlord from a century long gone dictates how you live your life, or quite possibly you choose to believe in nothing. Is it possible that you believe in nothing? Possibly, but not likely. Most people believe in something (Sirius will take issue with that line though).
I believe, by choice, that I was put here for a greater purpose. Than what? I have no idea. I have had an amazing life. I have seen the love of my life give birth nine times and watched three of them escape, one actually found a wonderful woman to bring into our family. I have no grandchildren yet but let’s get real, that is only a matter of time.
So what greater purpose is there than watching these kidlets grow up, get married, have their own kidlets…? If God loved me so much to grant me life, what could I do to replay such a debt? What could I do with my life that would make it worth living?
Driving by a car accident, my son and I got talking about the guy in the ambulance and I mentioned that the best way to die would be saving someone else’s life. Yes, my son cried at the discussion of his father dying but he has one of the softest hearts in the world so that was to be expected I suppose.
But my wife was all upset at me for talking stupid. Why would I even consider giving my life to save a complete stranger when I had so much to live for… so many wonderfully amazing things coming in my blessed future? If I truly believed that this would be the greatest was to die, to honor my creation, how could I possibly give up the opportunity? My wife simply doesn’t get it. Being a mother and wife, maybe she isn’t supposed to.
Now imagine that the opportunity comes and I do not save the stranger, and I live on instead. How do I face my children again? What has happened to my character and integrity? How could I convince my children in anything I believe if one of the most important beliefs in my life was a lie? I could not believe that I owed God my life and when He offered me an opportunity to repay it I said, “maybe another time”? I get this “I understand if you were saving someone you loved, but a stranger?” comment. Who am I to judge whom I get asked to save.
The world will understand. I still have six kidlets at home. I have no grandchildren. I have an amazing wife I would hate to stop staring at every day. I could probably handle watching this crazy family grow for a few more years. How many opportunities does one get to do the most important thing in the world? If I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason, and I do; and if I believe that giving my life to save someone else’s is the greatest sacrifice and the ultimate purpose for a life, how could I not make that trade if the opportunity came up?
I am going to end up paying for publishing this blog once my wife reads it but I need to get these crazy feeling off my chest. If I die tomorrow, feel free to celebrate my life. There will either be someone playing steel drums at my wake or a mariachi band, depends on who my wife can get on the short notice. If I die saving someone else, you are welcome to celebrate my death so long as you do it with a smile on your face.
As for the open casket thing, there won’t be much point, I will obviously be late as I am for everything important… but I will still be having fun and that is such a big part of my life that it should be a part of my death.