Getting Ready to Die

March 22, 2015




I once knew a man who did not die well. This man had a terminal illness, but instead of admitting to himself and others that he was going to die, he acted like he was going to live for decades to come. For example, he left the apartment he had been renting and went out and bought himself a house. Then he spent thousands of dollars redecorating the house and landscaping the lawn. As if that were not enough, he also bought a new car. Ironically he worked in the medical field and knew very well what illness he had, what condition he was in, and how quickly his disease was going to progress. Yet he pretended he still had many years left to live. I was with him in the final hour or two of his life. When death came, it came hard. He looked surprised, as if he had not expected death would ever happen to so charmed a person as he thought himself to be.

Getting ready to die, and to die well, happens in a series of small steps. Some of the small steps are things any of us can do at any point in our adult lives, such as preparing a will for your estate, setting up a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care, and contacting the church office for a funeral planning form where you can tell us what songs and scripture readings you want us to use at your funeral. You can also plan your funeral in advance with one of the funeral homes in town. Over the years I’ve worked with both Yoder-Culp and Reith-Rohrer-Ehrert, and can recommend both of them to you.

Bible References

  • Philippians 1:12 - 26