Skip to comments.And When I Die
Posted on 01/20/2014 1:25:59 PM PST by Kaslin
There is a subject that I dont really think about and dont really want to dying. But I recently turned 60 years old and know that, not being 18 years old, dying is sooner for me than for someone that age. So I spent some time struggling with the issue.
Part of the reason I have not focused much on the subject of death is because of my religion. Sure I have had my losses -- grandparents, mother, father, brother and friends -- and as a Jew we honor our deceased loved ones with a prayer near the end of every religious service The Kaddish. But I am thinking more about what happens to me. After all, I only know being alive in this world. Even though I am quite happy with my life and all the joys I have had, my question became: Is this all there is?
I spoke to a favorite Rabbi about the subject. He educated me as to why we as Jews dont focus on an afterlife. He said many people believe that Judaism does not believe in the afterlife, but he stated they were not accurate. He said while some might believe otherwise, Judaism doesbelieve in the afterlife though the religion focuses on life on earth and what you do while you are here. That is where the emphasis has been placed.But the Talmud speaks of The world to come. In essence there is a hereafter and your soul returns to God.
But that is a belief and the problem is what do we really know? I first spoke to Betty Ferrell, the author of ten books, who has been doing palliative care (in short, taking care of very sick people) for 30 years. She stated she has spent time with about 1,000 different people at or near death. Ms. Ferrell spoke of how often those people were communicating with someone from the past who had died. She had witnessed hundreds of apparent communications with people in the afterlife.
Yet that has its limited value to skeptics and gave me only marginal comfort. There are countless books about near-death experiences and people coming back from beyond describing their personal connection with the hereafter, but one has grabbed people more than anyone else written by Dr. Eben Alexander.
Dr. Alexander has been a noted neurosurgeon for over 25 years. He was truly a man of science and not much of a religiously observant person until he had his own near-death experience which he details in his book, Proof of Heaven.
Out of nowhere Alexander contracted a rare illness. He was in a coma for a week and his loving family was being advised by his medical team (as you can imagine he had the best care one could get) that it was time to pull the plug. The part of his brain that controls his thought and emotions was gone. Then out of the blue he awoke. Over an extended period of time his full memory returned and he became fully cognizant in all aspects and has returned to his prior life.
In his book Dr. Alexander vividly describes his near-death experience and his life in the world beyond. His retention of his cross over into the afterlife is quite detailed. But the more important part of the book is what this previously non-believer did after reawakening from his coma to confirm to himself that what he remembered was not just a dream or in some other form non-real. He did a complete medical analysis and consulted with multiple experts on brain activity.He concluded that his brain was completely shut down; and, therefore, he had to be in the afterlife.
I interviewed Dr. Alexander.When asked what has changed for him since his book was published, he told me he now participates in organized religion. The heart of the interview focused on the naysayers about his account since his experience has become well-known and his book a bestseller. He stated Critics dont seem to have read the book. They apparently are not citing what medical evidence Alexander presents in the book. He revisited with me his scientific efforts to disprove that he had visited the afterlife and he still concludes he cannot disprove it.
Dr. Alexander described such a wonderful existence in the hereafter I had to ask him why he came back and whether he has thought about going back to the other side. He told me that he came back and remains here because of his family and particularly his young son (he has an older son becoming a doctor) who he feels still need him.
All this has led me to examine my own thinking about what will happen to me. I know that I am healthy and look forward to many years on this planet. I have had a wonderful life and remain confident I will have many years of that same wonderful life or even better. But back to where I started -- all I know is this world and it seems such a shame that I will only have another 15, 20, or 30 years to enjoy the beauty of being to share time with my wonderful wife, children and friends, to read books or to listen to music, to go to a Broadway musical or see a baseball game.
I dont know if there is an afterlife, but I sure hope there is and I hope it as wonderful as what was described by Dr. Alexander. I do know that I dont plan on finding out for a long, long while. And when I do, Laura Nyro will be my guiding light:
I'm not scared of dying,
And I don't really care.
If it's peace you find in dying,
Well then let the time be near.
If it's peace you find in dying,
And if dying time is near,
Just bundle up my coffin
'Cause it's cold way down there.
I hear that its cold way down there.
Yeah, crazy cold way down there.
And when I die, and when I'm gone,
There'll be one child born
In this world to carry on,
to carry on.
I do, however, have a fear of pain.
But that is fleeting in most circumstances.
I read the Dr. Eben Alexander’s book, “Proof of Heaven”. It is stunning. I know it convinvced me. Unless he is a deliberate, almost pathological liar (and a neurosurgeon with a practivcce and a reputation to protect would simply not do that) then he has made his case!
Blood Sweat & Tears - And when I die
My fear is going before all my kids are out and established. After that I don’t fear it either.
And at my age, I don't even mind the pain...just let me outta here and buh-bye Obama!
My husband narrowly escaped being killed on Saturday. He was putting gas in his Jeep, and heard the screaming of tires coming in his direction. He jumped out of the way just before a car driven by an elderly lady hit the pumps and his Jeep. She was trying to avoid a drunk driver who was heading toward HER.
The owner of the store told my husband that the video shows him leaping out of the way at the last instant. I really do believe God pushed him, and I’m so thankful, but I’m still shaken up. This world is like a tightrope walk...we have to be ready to leave at any time.
“My Lord and Savior can take me anytime He wants. I have no fear of death. I’m ready.
I do, however, have a fear of pain.
But that is fleeting in most circumstances.”
It is interesting to me that life seems to prepare us for death. As a kid, I feared death. Now that I’ve lived, done some things, and experienced my body and my faculties deteriorating, I’m ready.
Similarly, my biggest fear is the exit method. Quick and painless please.
Rel the Song; Both versions of ‘When I Die’ were great in their own way. Blood, Sweat and Tears had a rocking, take on that song. Their New Orleans / Dixie, with a little Blues sprinkled on top. It was a very masculine interpretation, with lots of bass, brass and a 4/4 rhythm (I think that’s the correct way to describe the tempo). Laura Nyro was a little lady with a big voice. Laura was a known talent early, having recorded some of her first work as a teenager. I have the Album with Laura singing many of her tunes, and covers for the rest. Laura’s backup singers were Patty LaBelle and the Blue Belles. Fantastic recording. A moment in time. Laura was one of the best songwriters, male or female of that time, although she was eclipsed and outshone by many who sang her compositions; i.e. The Fifth Dimension, who sang Laura’s Wedding Bell Blues, or Eli Is Coming, sung later by The Three Dog Night.
No fear Kaslin ... NO Fear!!!
BTW...have you ever heard the piece "Catherine of Aragon" from Rick Wakeman's album The Six Wives Of King Henry VIII?
It is very closely related, thematically, to the piece "Annne Boleyn" on the same album...for obvious reasons. It's one of my favorites.
Well; there was this guy; about 1980 years ago that said...
Hezekiah was told to put his house in order.
(I think his story is found in Jewish religious writings...)
LOL, it sure can. Thank you. It really made us realize that we aren't guaranteed a single second more.
"BTW...have you ever heard the piece "Catherine of Aragon" from Rick Wakeman's album The Six Wives Of King Henry VIII? It is very closely related, thematically, to the piece "Annne Boleyn" on the same album...for obvious reasons. It's one of my favorites."
I have not heard it, but I'm going make sure I check it out. Thanks!
2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
"(I think his story is found in Jewish religious writings...)"
Yep, I hope the author will find them...there's lots of learning to be had there.
It’s in the Bible.........Hezekiah was a good king. He cried and the Lord gave him another 15 years.................
New International Version (NIV)
38 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.
2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes. And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5 Go and tell Hezekiah, This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.
7 This is the Lords sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: 8 I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz. So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.
9 A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:
10 I said, In the prime of my life
must I go through the gates of death
and be robbed of the rest of my years?
11 I said, I will not again see the Lord himself
in the land of the living;
no longer will I look on my fellow man,
or be with those who now dwell in this world.
12 Like a shepherds tent my house
has been pulled down and taken from me.
Like a weaver I have rolled up my life,
and he has cut me off from the loom;
day and night you made an end of me.
13 I waited patiently till dawn,
but like a lion he broke all my bones;
day and night you made an end of me.
14 I cried like a swift or thrush,
I moaned like a mourning dove.
My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens.
I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!
15 But what can I say?
He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.
I will walk humbly all my years
because of this anguish of my soul.
16 Lord, by such things people live;
and my spirit finds life in them too.
You restored me to health
and let me live.
17 Surely it was for my benefit
that I suffered such anguish.
In your love you kept me
from the pit of destruction;
you have put all my sins
behind your back.
18 For the grave cannot praise you,
death cannot sing your praise;
those who go down to the pit
cannot hope for your faithfulness.
19 The living, the livingthey praise you,
as I am doing today;
parents tell their children
about your faithfulness.
20 The Lord will save me,
and we will sing with stringed instruments
all the days of our lives
in the temple of the Lord.
21 Isaiah had said, Prepare a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil, and he will recover.
22 Hezekiah had asked, What will be the sign that I will go up to the temple of the Lord?