Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Get Back Sessions

My family is coming up on the one year anniversary of my father and then grandfather's death this month (a father should never have to see his youngest son die first and I suppose my grandfather felt the same). The month of May has traditionally been the hardest month for my family. Can't say why, but that's how it goes. While my father and grandfather are not going to die again we have entered this month with a grave sense of life and its burdens. Yet my heart feels light right now. I think my father and grandfather have a hand in that. Their strength has become our strength. And while they now live in the light and glory they also have chosen to do what they can to ease our burdens. It's just something I feel and have no other explanation for it.
My thinking on death has slowly formed to the belief that whatever happens after our bodies stop doesn't really matter. It doesn't matter because you only get this life once. Even if you buy into Nietzsche's eternal recurrence you still only get one shot at this life. So my father and grandfather are dead. That's part of my life now. In the face of death and suffering I can either cry or laugh and carry on. I'll laugh even if there are tears in my eyes. And knowing I have a trio of loving fathers--God, my father and grandfather--looking out for me makes that laughter all the more joyful. I stopped fearing death when I realized I'll only have this life once. That's the freedom I believe Christ showed to us. That's the freedom I believe my dad and granddad are guiding me toward.
This life I have now will one day stop and even if that's the end of it I will still live this life as well as I can. Honestly, is there a better way to live? I may end up in misery, I may get swept up accidentally and sent to Gitmo, I may find myself in a real Holocaust style concentration camp. There are so many ways life can all go wrong. But it's still life, still my life, still this life. So what I fear isn't death but failing to live this life I have right now. Salvation may lie only through the grace of God but I don't have time to seek salvation. God gave me something better. God gave me life. So rather than insult God I'm going to damn well live this life. And the loss of my father and grandfather a year ago only strengthens my resolve to live as well as I can. Anything less is simply an insult to God and those who have died before us.