Having recently attended a funeral of a dear Orthodox Christian woman, I felt inspired to write this brief entry. In our modern day and age, particularly here in North America and also in Western Europe, the death rates are rather low relative to previous generations, owing to advances in medicine, better protection for soldiers going to war, better nutrition, and so on. As a result, people are living much longer than at any other point in history.
Hence, it is very easy for some of us (not all of us, of course; I am not insensitive to the fact that there are many living in this part of the world that do experience a great deal of loss) living in these parts of the world to forget about death. We might often find ourselves saying to our self, or perhaps even to others, “My relatives have lived to an old age, and so will I.” Yet, it is something that we will all face, some of us much sooner than others, but still something that all living things will someday encounter.
This is a topic that we generally like to ignore, as it is an uncomfortable topic to some. But we should face the reality of death, instead of pretending that it does not exist. How quickly, though, do we forget about our own impending death, even after hearing about a death or seeing a death? It is easy to become distracted in our day-to-day cares about our death, even though it may arrive in a few short moments. And so, we must do our best to remind ourselves continually of death, which, in turn, will help prevent us from falling into sin.
We must be able to stand prepared before the Judgement Seat of Christ. May our Lord God and Savior, Jesus Christ, through the intercessions of His most holy mother, the Theotokos, help us to remember our own death, and help us to have a good end to our lives.
May the memory of the recently reposed handmaid of God, Anna, be eternal!
For two, more thorough discussions of this topic, visit: http://orthodoxinfo.com/death/memory_death.aspx