I have always sought to live a life with meaning. And these days, I also think a lot about dying a death with meaning. Ninoy Aquino, whose death – murder – we remembered yesterday, lived a life full of meaning. But it was his death that had greater significance and meaning. “The Filipino is worth dying for.”
I remember one time when our eldest grandchild simply broke into tears because he, all of a sudden, felt afraid of dying. He was all of eight years old.
Man has always been afraid of death and death is indeed a sad occasion. It helps and even inspires me to think that death is not an end but another passage that I make in life. My life is a series of passages or passing over. Birth is a passage from non-existence into being. In life, I pass over from childhood into adulthood. In death, I pass over into a new life. Before my birth, I could have imagined myself to be afraid to leave the comforts of the womb, uncertain of what lay ahead. In death, I could imagine myself to be afraid to leave life, uncertain of what is waiting for me ahead. But it is precisely in the paradox of dying that I make the passage, the passing over, the being born to a new life in eternity. My Christian faith assures me of that certainty.
As I advance in years, my thoughts often turn to thoughts about death. Strangely, I am not afraid of death for I see it not as an end but as a portal for levelling up; or at the very least, for a ‘Reset’. Just as in a video game, the action gets more exciting as you near the end; one must make sure to have enough points or energy to level up. So, every day brings me new challenges and deeper realizations as I approach the end-game.