Death changes us. It drastically alters our circumstances as we’re thrown into an emergency situation we usually feel totally unprepared for. Death of a close family member is especially tough to cope with.

While death brings a sense of an ending, a line in the sand and a finality we cannot escape, it also signals a sense of an opening when we surrender and trust ourselves, body, soul and spirit, to God.

As our nation mourns the death of our beloved Queen Elizabeth ll, we can be thankful for her decades of humble, devoted service and her strong Christian faith. It’s what helped shape the wife, mother and woman she was and the monarch she would become. May the poem below help reveal a glimpse of the eternal hope and joy we have at our life’s end.

If we could see death as a door ajar into a new kind of living reality, a place of lasting love and joy, where we can rest and be at peace, then maybe we wouldn’t fear death so much but learn to embrace it for the natural next step into eternity that it is, even as we grieve the loss.

An opening

death exists
for us while we breathe and live
our shadow self
an ever-present presence
softly lingering sylph

we don't want
to acknowledge it yet
or at all, in fact
because it makes our flesh shrink
and our fearful souls backtrack

illness makes us feel
as if death is close at hand
ready to pounce
with sickle and scythe it comes
prepared to chop us down

but what if
we chose to face it head on
accept our fate
maybe we could see how death
is an opening, escape

a door ajar
into eternity with God
not an ending
at all, but a new beginning
where we really start living
© joylenton

Eternal Father,

Although we know that Christ took away the sting of death at the cross, we are still subject to a very real fear of decay, decline and death. If we look at those things from a purely human perspective, then we become afraid.

Afraid of the unknown as yet to be experienced. Fearful of how we might cope with persistent chronic or sudden serious illness that seems to draw us closer to the jaws of death.

It’s an inescapable fact that we, like decaying flowers and dried out autumn leaves, will one day diminish and die, returning to the ground from which we came. But it’s also an incontrovertible fact that we are saved from the finality of death because it doesn’t get the final say in our lives.

We, too, like Jesus, will die—then rise to the newness of Life in all its fullness. An eternal life lived in your presence, one full of hope and joy. Help us to see it more as a new beginning than a dead ending.

“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” — John 3:16 AMPC