|By Frank J. Buchman
“You can’t take it with you.”
That comment comes to mind again with recent passing of a college judging team mate.
“Live life to the fullest. One never knows when it’s coming to an end on Earth.”
Another repeated remark hits home when 20 percent in a class of 100 have already gone beyond.
“Checked the obituaries again today and name wasn’t there, so still alive.”
One more observation heard on occasion.
Morbid as might be, second page death reports generally the first thing read in the daily newspaper.
Tongue and cheek, not actually checking for own announcement as such. Yet, as lifelong newsman with bred in nosiness, truly am interested in those who have died.
Sadly too many are acquaintances. Plus always like to learn about others’ stories, big timers, and especially the common folk.
Still, date of birth is always of special note. Those who’ve lived into their 80s, 90s and 100s are true inspiration.
Why are they different? Did they eat better? Exercise more? Work harder? Is it in their genes? One wonders?
Of greater alarm is the number of those dying who aren’t even yet 65. Almost every day, there are some. Many don’t reach what as a retiree one could consider “maturity.” Cause of passing is notable, and if not reported question arises, why?
Then, when it’s a child, teenager or young adult, there’s even more intense grief. How come? They have missed so very much here.
Yesterday, the city newspaper front page headline reported a prominent pastor taking his own life. He’d been battling mental health issues.
Life became too much to bear. Difficult to rationalize while still perhaps a certain sense of understanding. It is so sad.
“Nobody’s going to live forever.” A statement that is deeply offensive to many.
“Disciples’ eternal life will be so much better than this could have ever been,” they proclaim.
“Everybody ends up in the same place, whether a robber, a killer, however bad, or the kindest, most generous person.” A cowboy friend speculated in the cemetery after serving as a pallbearer with him.
Of course, that’s definitely wrong to true believers.
“Finances are essential, but money doesn’t make happiness.”
Certainly, only One knows the time here.
Reminded of Genesis 15:14: “Live a full life and die a good and peaceful death.”