The sudden end
Thoughts of the end were never sufficient for the man to realize the actuality of the moment. Throughout his life, these thoughts were replete in his daily life, yet the end was near, and it was more sudden than he could grasp.
He remembered someone that died and had a near-death experience talking to Jesus about dying and was told most people are surprised they are dead; they can’t believe it.
The man thought about this detail in his mind, this memory from listening to this man’s testimony. It gave him comfort believing in this other man who came back from the dead, explaining his experiences with a kind and loving God.
There were fears creeping in too, the finality of the end of life as he knew it, entering the unknown was a difficult truth to accept. It was one thing to contemplate the scenario, considering it in the future at some ambiguous date, yet having it near was different.
He believed there was this afterlife with Jesus but was also afraid of the unknown and saddened to leave the life and people he loved and knew. All the ups and downs of life had come to these last moments where he was faced with the sudden end of the life he knew.
Like getting punched in the gut and losing the will to fight, he felt sickened inside and could only hold on to a mustard seed of faith as he cried out to Jesus in the pain and darkness.
Even in his older age, all the future plans he had were now canceled with the sudden wilting of his life.
No one knows their last moments or when they will come. Thinking about it is morbid, as life is for the living. When he was young thoughts of death were far from his mind, except for some detached idea surrounding the inevitable future event.
When he got older and had been through some health scares, his mortal awareness was awakened in addition to being on the downhill part of an average life span. The possibility of death became more real as he experienced people he knew dying and heard stories of death throughout the years.
He used to watch documentaries of wars and was always aghast at the lives lost in these great struggles of humanity. The young soldiers being forced into combat and then dying some horrible death in their prime; how lucky he was he thought to have lived as many years as he had, even in his 30s and 40s. At least, he wasn’t dead in his 20s.
In his last moments, all he could do was hold on to his faith and hope in Jesus Christ. The fear was abated only with the mustard seed of faith he had; all the strength and bluster of youth was gone, as he moaned and focused on the immediacy of the moment.
He was finally in that place of being willing to forgive and love everyone completely; death’s knocking was enough to take away all pride and boasting from even the recesses of his mind. He was willing to love and be at peace, never to complain or be proud again. He felt strength only in his determination to hold onto Jesus until the end.
All the thoughts about the end of time, the collapse of society, and the fears of future events were gone. Society and the world would continue, yet his time had come. He wondered if he would ever find out how the story of humanity unfolded, perhaps in some picture show in heaven.
Mostly he thought about his wife and leaving her and his remaining family members behind. Letting go was more difficult when there are close ties to loved ones.
Regardless, the last moments of his life were upon him suddenly. The doorway to the unknown was upon him. They had discussed these matters before in quiet times of reflection. He would encourage her that they would see each other again in heaven, that they were soul mates destined to spend eternity together.
How it all would work exactly he wasn’t sure; the unknown realm was beyond his comprehension; all he had was his mustard seed of faith to get him through the dreaded transition.
The last moments were too short to call for help, yet each second was magnified into a million memories and thoughts. Combating the fear was the initial focus and then came a peaceful acceptance when he knew it was time.
Then the sadness of saying goodbye came like a flood and the regrets from many years of human frailty took hold of his heart. He was sorry for all his mistakes and imperfections of character.
He knew he had already repented of his sins and forgiven those who had hurt him, yet he wanted God to know how sorry he was for his foolish pride, whatever measure that was still inside.
He was blessed with long life and God’s hand upon him. In his last moments, he was ready as possible for the inevitable conclusion of his mortal existence. Alone in his home in the early hours of the night, his last moments were upon him without remedy.
In the end, he thanked God for his life and committed his soul to the hands of Jesus Christ, praying for those he loved and ultimately finding peace in the last moments of his life.
© 2023 Robbie Newport