faith looking forward


The Peace of Dying

Delivered at the 2015 Death High Court

Most eternal and wise Goddess Death!

You come to us in countless forms: in the slow, natural decay of our organic selves; in chronic illness, chipping away at our strength; in tragedy; in violence; in many forms indeed. You are feared, resented, despised. We, not understanding, have built rigid walls around our minds to keep the thought of You out. We have desperately sought avoidance of Your eventuality since the dawn of civilization. But it is out of knowledge only of the ordinary, the ordinary and nothing more, that we dread You. Knowledge only of the human experience, of life and nothing more. Our fear of You stems from our fear of the unknown.

We are remarkably proud, then, that we have come to know You.

Verity has seen You, and You are not a becloaked arbiter of ruin. You are life’s oldest friend, Nurturer’s most integral sister, Healer’s darker twin. Decay must happen. Illness must happen. Tragedy must happen. Without these things, goodness is void. Without them there is no life, no health, no good fortune, no recognizing the precious, crucial natures of peace and joy. And just when the self is too weak to carry on, when the virus or the cellular dysfunction has broken down the body irreversibly, when violence has imprisoned our consciousness in excruciating pain, You come, and we are relieved. Dying is coolness, silence, darkness. Dying is softness and peace. You will turn to us as if to say, “You’re safe now. Are you ready?” And we will embark on our next adventure. It may not have been of our choosing, but You are written in our destiny. You are the great equalizer, and You have mercy.