A man named Kobayashi Maru has written about his brother’s death this week. (Hat tip to Amy.) So much of what he says resonates with my experience of being present at my dad’s deathbed just over a year ago.
Our culture, and particularly the Los Angeles culture in which I attempt to survive, makes deafening demands to think constantly about youthfulness and physical health. It’s a culture that is very afraid of aging, disease and death — as if these were the worst things that could happen to us.
But some experiences make it clear that death can be beautiful… awe-inspiring, even… when viewed through eyes of faith. Our fear of death betrays a vision of life that is too narrow, too constricted, too suffocating… one that behaves as if this life is all there is.
Our priorities are, so often times, the inverse of what they ought to be. We are afraid of dying, but not of sinning. It’s one of the great confusions of my heart, and, I hazard to guess, of more than a few of us.