When the Gift of Life is Taken

The story I share with you is a story that I wrote in an effort to confront the loss of loved ones. It is especially pertinent to events of the past two weeks where through old age and tragedy six people, some very close to me and other close to my friends, have died. In the face of such loss I affirm my own link to life, even as I seek to comfort family and friends. It is my hope that my little story provides some of you who are in pain with some small measure of comfort as you confront your own loss.
I imagine that before we are born we are disembodied spirits, let’s say, in heaven. One day of eternity, God comes to us and we bask in the radiance of the Eternal’s holiness. Spirit, God says, this is a beautiful day in eternity, and a very special one for you. Today, dear spirit, is the time for you to make a choice between two possibilities: you can remain here with me in heaven or you can be born in the world of flesh and bone—the world of human beings.
So consider this: If you remain here with me, you will continue to be a disembodied sprit, beyond hurt and pain, and beyond any doubts about why you exist. I love you with all my heart; you are my creation and you are holy, beyond any measure and worth. Here in heaven you will see my face and glory in the radiance of my holiness; it will never be hidden from you. I will instruct you in the great mysteries of what I have created and you will glory in them. And remember, here you will not feel no touch or pain.
Should you, however, decide to be born in flesh and blood, you will experience emotion and pain, exultation and sadness. Disappointment will be part of your life as will doubt. There may even be times when you wish you had never been born. Above all, you will come to understand that life is fleeting and you will never know the moment of your death. In this world of accident everything is impermanent, transitory. In the world of humans you will also come to feel and learn happiness, friendship and, above all, love. You will see the sun rise and set. You will be in awe of your feelings as you realize that you are part of a wonderful, beautiful and miraculous Creation. You will come to know the beauty of a blossoming flower. And when you touch the skin of another and your bodies intertwine, you will feel ecstasy as you lose yourself in the other. When a child will be born in the world, you will surely say, “This is God’s miracle.”
As you live in the world you will realize that although your life is temporary, I have granted you three gifts: I will implant within you the seed of your own sense of worthwhileness, and I will implant within you the desire to seek and fulfill your life’s purpose, your destiny. And last of all, I will remind you from time to time that I will be waiting for you when you are ready to return to me.
This is my story and this is how I end it: “since we are in this world, we surely made the choice to be here.” The story doesn’t really speak about heaven or even hell, rather it is a metaphor that has the purpose of shifting the focus from death to life: we can choose a life of healing, one that may be blessed with satisfaction and happiness as we continue on the road of our own life’s journey.

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