Thursday, April 12, 2012


"After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure."  - Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, pg. 297

I've thought about this quote a lot in the past month.  My husband's mother recently passed away and we spent 3 weeks sitting with her round the clock in the hospital during that process.  The day we arrived, Hospice had taken charge of her case.  They gave us a couple of booklets on death and the process of dying which had some very profound thoughts.  I thought I would share a few of these and my thoughts with you.

First of all, life is a terminal illness.  From the moment we are born we know that eventually we will die.  Everyone will die - it's a given.  The only difference between a healthy person and a seriously ill person is that the seriously ill person is reminded everyday that they are aren't going to live forever.

Death is scary to most people, because Death is the enemy - to be fought against at all costs.  We don't want to talk about it or even acknowledge that it even happens.  Perhaps if we talk about it too much, it may hasten our own death?  Because of this phobia, not only do people not want to talk about it, they don't want to be around someone who is dying, or even acknowledge that they are going through the process.

Death can be our finest hour or our ultimate challenge. Some people facing death, are terrified to the point where they consider (or even succeed) in taking their own life.  In my opinion, this is the coward's way out.  What is so scary about death?  Can one say that maybe instead of being afraid of death, they are actually afraid of dying?

After being with my mother-in-law while she went through this process, I'm convinced that there were personages from the spirit world that came to "take her home".  I thought it was interesting that the hospice people also believe in this, not because of any religious affiliations, but because they have experienced this too many times to deny it.  I don't know how anyone can watch someone die and not believe in the afterlife.

Another quote from the Harry Potter books that I kept thinking about was in the 5th book (Order of the Phoenix) when Harry goes back to school.  He gets off the train and when he goes to the carriages that take the students from the train station to Hogwarts, he sees the winged Thestrals.  He wonders what they are, because all the years before he had never seen them.  He thinks that no one else can see them but him, but later he finds out that only those people who have seen someone die can see them.

Now that I have experienced this, I know what JK Rowling was trying to say to us.  I feel I can now see the Thestrals...

May the longtime sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you
Guide you on your way.


Delirious said...

I agree, death is just the next step, not something to be feared. As horrible as this sounds, I don't even fear death for my parents, because I know they have lived a full, long life. I fear more for the deaths of my children and husband who still have a lot of life to live. But I don't fear my own death. I guess I might fear a painful death, like burning in a fire. But I actually am looking forward to seeing what is coming next. :)

Dee Ice Hole said...

After my experience in 2000 when my heart stopped for a minute or two I no longer fear death---I FEAR THE WAY I AM GOING TO DIE. When my heart stopped it was very easy.

Inklings said...

I agree with you and JK Rowling. I am not afraid of death now that my family is raised, but I used to pray all of the time that I would be allowed to live long enough to raise them.