Recently God revealed something to me and I would like to share it with you. It has been pulling at my heart for a while now.
This will most likely be an unpopular opinion among my contemporaries in the online funeral and death care community. I mean to offend no one, but if you are touched in one way or another by this post, I’ll be glad.
As a member of the funeral/death care community, specifically online, I see a great longing for spirituality, almost everywhere I look. A longing to look past the shadows of death and to embrace the unknown, to transcend what we’ve been conditioned to believe about dying and to create a new belief system surrounding it. There is a longing to connect with a higher self, with a higher power that is apathetic to the inevitability of death. There is a longing to understand the “Universe,” or “God,” or “Whatever you want to call it.”
There are “living funerals” designed to mimic one’s own future demise in order to increase one’s appreciation for life. There is yoga and meditation to try and reach the “god” within. There are crystals, chakras, and other elements of the new age being used during such sessions as a way to heighten one’s awareness of one’s own mortality.
There are organizations calling for the fusion of “birth, breath and death” into one giant cultural and spiritual awakening. Sans the Christian God. There are death doulas and death midwives and the spiritual idea of “holding space” for those who have entered the dying process.
There is everything you could imagine, every philosophy, every sequence, every breathing technique, every religion, all presented in an effort to find peace in death. To find positivity in death. Except for the turning of the heart and eye to the Lord.
Over these past several months, God has been showing me, time and time again, that this need for spiritual experience in death is being sought after in all the wrong places. It is reached for in the moon, in the stars, in the sun, in a deck of cards, in yoga, in crystals, in meditation, in nature, in enlightenment, in books on every topic under the sun. In everything but the Bible.
It's tempting to take a peek at any one of these things (pick your poison), just because EVERYONE is doing it...but they're all false gods.
I've been reminded that there is no peace in death, in life, in anything at all, apart from Him Who rules over everything. Apart from Him who rules the universe and everything in it.
What I’m trying to say is, I don’t think we’re supposed to be looking for positivity in death. I’m now thinking that to search for positivity in death is to search for positivity in sin, where there is none. Death is the ultimate loneliness. It is decay. It is a point of no return.
Death is, by Biblical definition, separation from God and all of this that goes with it.
Yes, we have it in our power to ease the pain and sorrow surrounding death. I am not against this at all. I am not against any medical measures taken to ease the suffering of those who are dying. Not against providing comfort to those who are dying or who are watching a loved one die. Not against honoring and memorializing loved ones through the funeral ritual. But in the end, I think, the ugliness remains. Just as there is agony in childbirth because of sin (Genesis 3:16), there is utter darkness in death because of sin (Romans 6:23). No matter how we try to find a way around it, it is there.
I had previously studied the death positive movement (think The Order of the Good Death, etc.) and at one point even thought that I was a part of it, that I could agree with it and what it stands for. I’d written about it in my About Me section on my website, for crying out loud! But the more I think about it, as a Christian, I don’t think I can support this movement anymore, for the reasons I’ve laid out here.
So, I’m reversing this attitude and suppositions where this topic is concerned. Death is supposed to be sad, to be scary, to be depressing, and sometimes to be horrid. At least at it’s core. It is the wage of sin. We are not supposed to want to stare it in its face. To see our loved ones wracked by it.
Humans are naturally scared silly of death and dying. We naturally shun away from dead things, no matter how much we see it and no matter how we may force-train our minds to find a way around it. This is because we weren't made to do that, at all. We weren't created to die or to be exposed to death, in any way, shape or form. We were made for life.
The death positive movement wants to bring death out from behind the closed doors of the funeral home and into the home again. It wants to erase the stigma surrounding dead bodies and what goes into preparing them for the final goodbye. It wants to pave new paths for those in mourning to see their dead loved ones in a way that they simply are not. An attempt to cover it up either with embalming or with flower petals.
The death positive movement calls death “natural” and simply a part of life. It all sounds lovely...well, as lovely as it can be. But death is only “natural” in a sin-stricken world. And it’s not a part of life, it’s the opposite of life. To try and find the “normal” in death is futile; because it is not normal at all. It is most certainly unnatural. This is because God’s original design was for eternal life, not death.
The only true peace you will ever know, concerning either a loved one’s death or your own looming mortality, is the peace that is to be found in Jesus. The world says, “Look here, the latest new thing to ponder!” and “This philosophy is the real deal” and “Death is simply a journey from this world to the next” and “Death is safe.” It is all a farce and one that I now believe Satan is weaving his crooked spine in and out of.
Death is only safe if you have found salvation in Christ. Without Him, all else is tied to sin. All else is no man's land. Every single other thing either comes back to Him or goes straight down into the grave, every single time.
My name is Aubrey Bauer, and I am a freelance eulogy writer. I started my eulogy writing business in March 2019 and am so honored to serve in the funeral ministry.
I look forward to getting to know you and working with you to create the best eulogy possible for your loved one. Click here for more information on the services Eulogies by Aubrey offers.