I recently sent a birthday greeting to a high school acquaintance when his name and profile picture came up on my Facebook birthday announcements. I said, “I hope it’s your best year yet!” The next day I got a message from my classmate’s spouse telling me the individual had died three months earlier “so it was NOT going to be his best year yet.”
Her anger and disgust at my well-intentioned wish was palpable. In today’s world where everyone is linked but few know each other we often need to take a pause before posting our responses. People always ask how my father is. He passed away four years ago but I’m humble enough to know that not everyone in the entire world is aware of this fact, even my “friends” on Facebook.
I guess it all boils down to whether you think that death is the end of it all or the beginning. My guess is that from the title of this blog you know where I stand. And in the greatest of all of life’s mysteries, we will never know until life as we know it ceases. If it is the end of it all and it’s truly “lights out” what’s so bad about that? If it’s the beginning of it all and we have lived our lives to the fullest, isn’t it a time to rejoice?
Whatever you believe, live it large so when the curtain comes down on the stage of your life you can take a magnanimous bow. Be like Frank Sinatra who did it “My Way” or live a life in servitude to something greater than you.
Yesterday I got word that a dear friend of my father’s, a mentor and an amazing author and speaker, died. Zig Ziglar lived a hundred lifetimes during his stay on earth. He touched millions of lives and now he has graduated to Heaven. It was so beautiful to see the comments streaming throughout social media, the phones, blogs, and other means about how he had touched so many lives and the unbridled expressions of joy that he was finally home. His best year was just getting started!
People were rejoicing a life well lived and celebrating the ultimate homecoming, not posting snarky comment about Zig “NOT” having his best year yet. His family, although missing him physically, will rejoice the rest of their years for having had him in their lives until they are reunited. It’s his time to meet his creator, time to be reunited with other brothers and sisters in Christ, time for all the questions of the universe to be answered and the pain of injury, illness, and aging to stop.
Everything I do in life is based on eternal hope in living life as a reflection of the Creator and an eternity spent worshipping Him. The French Jesuit and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said it best: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.” And if you accept this, your death WILL be the beginning of your best year yet that will last for all eternity.