2022: Making Death Mentionable Again.

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I considered making “death” my word of the year for 2022.

Morbid much?” you may think to yourself and consider clicking away.

Don’t worry, I’m choosing “alive” instead. But I almost chose death because I’m realizing that thinking more about death would help me live better.

My dear friend, who was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, texted me a link to a book entitled, “The End of the Christian Life”. After my stomach plummeted in a brief moment of horror, I realized I needed to read this book. Not only because one of my favorite people on the planet is living on the perilous path of cancer and I want to be able to walk alongside her as best I can, but also because as I read the subtitle, How Embracing Our Mortality Frees Us to Truly Live, my spirit lurched in the way it often does when confronted with something true and important.

Thankfully, I got the book during a week of perfect reading circumstances:

  1. The week before Christmas, Aubrey and I modified our smart phones to be a bit “dumber.” We’d both been noticing the magnetic pull these of little machines away from each other and, honestly, away from our own lives. I’m ashamed to even say how much time I’ve gotten back since taking social media off of my phone.
  2. I had almost 2 weeks off of work for the holidays.
  3. I received a hammock for Christmas.
  4. It’s been the mid-70s to 80s. Thank you, Florida.

Needless to say, I’ve been flying through this book much quicker than my usual reading pace (especially for non-fiction).

I’m not here to summarize this book or review it, but just to say that I am convinced the author is right: embracing mortality would be freeing and life-giving.

Saying no to our culture’s constant death/pain/discomfort/limits-denying would be a radical life. But it would be LIFE — in all its pain and beauty.

alive.

Alive to my days, numbered as they are.

Alive to my body, the way weakness and power intermingle – pain and beauty even in the scars.

Alive to curiosity – the joy of always having more to learn.

Alive to my feelings – the shape of my longings, aware of what it is that I yearn.

I want to live into the silence — and not fill it all with noise —

AND to be open to the chaos of life (with children) and not dampen their joy by being annoyed.

Alive to the music and art in and around me– less stimulating than a screen, but it’s a beautiful symphony

of life. Real life.

I’m alive. And I want to live more fully alive until the day that I die and pass into LIFE, resurrected

everlasting

eyes more fully open

mouth open wider

appetites, richer

loves made perfect.

journal, 1/1/22

“teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12

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