The art of dying

Dylan Thomas wrote a poem for his dying father. Each time I hear it read, it is read so softly gently and sadly.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I’ve always wanted to read it in an angry Scottish accent. I guess that’s just me.

I’ve seen a lot of death this last year or so. I’ve done a number of funerals. I’ve seen people mourn loved ones. I’ve seen them hold on to the promises of God. I’ve seen the lean upon God’s grace. I’ve seen them led by the Savior and strengthened by the Holy Spirit.

I’ve seen strong burly manly men cry and I’ve seen old women sit stone-faced not knowing what to do. To tell the truth, there is an art to dying, to dyin well.

We push hard all our lives. We work hard to be healthy. And even in my own health issues (uhm…maybe I told you about my walking pneumonia or twisting my ankle and knee..not sure if I’ve done that or not. Interesting story, I’ll tell it to you sometime) I’ve seen the sparks of the need to boldy and emotionally accept the power of death.

It scares us really. It’s not the actual dying we don’t like. It’s that sudden stop. What will be there at the end? What will I see? I’ve worked hard to be physically fit and I’ve worked hard at being all together mentally. And I’ve worked hard at being spiritual. I’ve worked hard.

Yet, it’s not about working hard. In the art of dying, it’s not how hard we work, it’s how hard we lean. How hard we trust. That is the art of dyin. It isn’t raging against the dying of the light. It is boldly walking forward towards the light, knowing in whom you trust.

Part of dyin is to die well. But know this, everyone dies, but not everyone lives. Live boldly walking forward into the light of Jesus, not raging against it. Be willing to die well, for in that, you’re health–physically, mentally and spiritually–is used for a purpose in living but also in dyin well.

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One Response to The art of dying

  1. Pingback: A Good Day to Die | Spiritual Musclehead

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