Friday, July 25, 2008

THE MEANING OF DEATH

(The 21st death anniversary of one of the most wonderful persons that ever lived—Urbana Ayroso-Ramirez, my mother, is on August 1, 2008. In connection with that event, I am posting this short article—actually, my reflection paper in our Theology 211 class (1994) under Ms. Carlota Aquino, one of the best and most pleasant instructors of Columban College in Olongapo City.)

Death is the most unpleasant thing one can ever think of. To those whose lives are centered on material and worldly things, it means the end of enjoyment and happiness. To romantic couples who are very much in love, it is unbearable grief as it means parting with those who made their lives worth living. Still, to some, death means a horrible monster that transforms everything of value into nothingness.

Many fear death. I believe everyone does. But this should not be for, despite its morbid nature, death has a vital role in everyone’s life.

For me, death gives deeper meaning to life. It has to stand by somewhere if only to remind us that we are but travelers in this world. Since well-meaning people are aware of the certainty of death, they make the most of their time on earth. They make the most of what they can make in life. Because they are aware that they will someday die, they do things that will enrich their very short stay in this world. Indeed, sometimes, it is only through the thought of death that we are able to really value, appreciate and live life to the fullest!

Death also means relief—like a breaking away from a long and agonizing fight with an illness which brings one so much suffering—physically, emotionally, mentally, and otherwise. It means liberation from all sorts of slavery our earthly life subjected us to. It also means peace—at last!

Most of all, death has a purpose. For what is Death doing there if it won’t serve anything at all? It is a path to glory—for it is through death that we are born to eternal life. It is a fulfillment of God’s mysterious plan for us. For it is through death that we are finally united with The Creator.

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