Friday, January 16, 2009

24

Last month, I joined Facebook, which as been a fun and entertaining journey. Shortly after joining, I received an invitation to join the Levites, one of the many groups on the FB platform. Because I'm kind of sort of getting burned out with all of the blogs that I've been visiting for the last few years, I'm now looking for new blogs to throw myself into. And even though the Levites is a Facebook group and not a "blog", the look and feel of the discussion board reminds me of blogging. In fact, I would go ahead and say that it is a weblog. And it is one that I truly enjoy, at least, at this point.

The most recent discussion prompt that was posted on the board by the group's administrator, Kevin Bond, really grabbed my attention.

What would you do if you were informed that you only had 24-hours to live?

I sat at my computer and thought about the question for a few minutes. I don't know why the question grabbed me this time. I've thought about this so many times before.

What would I do if I had 24 hours to live? What would I do if I had 6 months to live? What would I do if I knew I had an hour to live? What thoughts would run through my mind if I knew I was going to die in a matter of minutes?

Yes, all of that has rushed through my mind many, many times.

The truth is that I've been afraid to die for quite some time. I guess it's the uncertainty about how death "feels", and what "really" happens to you after you die, that makes me feel a little uneasy. If I could just have a conversation with someone that has been there done that, I think I would feel better about dying.

(Ghost Alert: Don't even try it. Please do not try to do me a favor by trying to communicate with me about death. No knocking on walls, tapping on windows, and moving dishes. Okay? I don't want to talk to a dead person about death. I want to hear it from the living.)

Another reason why I think that death kind of disturbs me is because it can be so untimely. Most people don't even get a warning. No e-mail from heaven, no certified letter from the board of angels, no 24-hour appointment reminder from the welcoming committee. You're just minding your business, and all of the sudden, without a warning, and without your input, you just die. Something about that really bothers me. It seems so unfair to not have any say, no control, and no alert. Oh well...

So, when the question about the 24-hour death notice popped up in my in-box, it grabbed my attention. So, I thought about it and began to type my answer. Here's what I posted on the Levites discussion board. (I've added two more things.)

If I knew I only had 24 hours to live, I would:

1. Forgive and forget.

2. Ask to be forgiven by God and by man. (family and friends)

3. Hold the loves of my life in my arms so tight, assuring them that my love for them out lives my physical existence here on Earth. (Tears are forming in my eyes. I'm absolutely not a person to cry. That's how much I love my nieces and nephew.) Then I would tell Joseph, Gabby, and Joseph that they can be anything they wanted to be. And to never believe the destructive assessments that others make about them. I would remind them that they are special to God and living for Him is the only way to "live".

4. I would thank my mother and father for the selfless investments they made in my life. I would apologize to them for not being able to do more for them in their elder years. Then, I would hug, hug, and hug them until I stop crying. I would reassure them that I'm okay with dying, even if I'm not. I never want them to worry excessively about me, even unto death.

5. I would sit in front of my computer and write letters to my family and friends, letting them know everything that I hadn't told them yet. I would reaffirm how important each of them are in my life. I would demand that they fulfill their purpose for living. And then I will thank them for the good times and the bad. I would somehow reassure them that all the experiences we had, even the ones that were awful, helped mold, develop, and mature me.

6. I would update my blog for the last time. I would pull out my most poignant posts and place them in a specific spot on the blog. Then I would bid my final farewells to my blogging family, thanking them for giving me their time and attention.

7. I would provide my folks with the passwords to all of my e-mail, social networking sites, voice mails, and financial accounts.

8. I would gather up insurance papers and give them to my parents. I would transfer all of my money to my parent's banking accounts. I would call my lawyers and have them draft a will for me. (I don't have much. But I would want it distributed according to my wishes.)

9. I would place all of my writings, essays, unfinished books, poetry, and speeches, into a electronic and hard folder. I would preselect which one of my writings I would want to be included in my funeral program. Then I would leave special instructions to my folks on how to print, bind, and distribute it to family and friends.

10. I would call my friends and share laughs, cries, and prayers with them. I would reassure them that I am dying in peace. I would thank them for being the best friends that a girl could've had. I would tell them to live their dreams, no matter the cost.

11. I would call my pastor and ask him to visit me. We would talk about my life, my God, and my resting place. I would tell him what I would want him to tell the people. I would thank him for providing me with spiritual enrichment and covering me with prayer. Then, I would ask him to share a word of encouragement with me, read a passage of scripture, and pray one last prayer with me.

12. After all of that is said and done, I would take a bath, take something to help me relax (Wine or medication... Perhaps both... LOL), get in the bed, hold my Bible, put on the sweetest worship music, tell the Lord one final thank you, and go to sleep with my mama holding my hand and my daddy watching me from the chair next to my bed. (I know that Mama and Daddy would stay there with me until the end.)

B.Angie.B

4 comments:

sacredly breathing said...

Hello Angie.

a twenty-four hour notice of impending death would be a stressful time for me as far as decision making goes. However if given a week or months I think some of the ideas you mentioned would be a great idea. My question to you is why not do some of those things now so that your mind is clear should your passing come about. Also you could read ( The Tibetan book on living and dying) states that proper living prepares one for death, death is only a transition and that we can meet death with a balanced mind.

Angie-Nuvision said...

Hello SB.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog again. Your presence and comments are always welcomed. I get a lot of visitors. But very few comment. So, getting feedback from you is great!

You asked, why don't I do some of those things now. Some I have... Let's see.

If I knew I only had 24 hours to live, I would:

1. Forgive and forget.
*Pretty much, I forgive people. Holding grudges is much too destructive and painful. I forgive my sake. However, there are times that I discovered that I was holding on to some pain, without even realizing it. As soon as I'm aware, I sit down and deal with my emotions to try to kill the hurt and disappointment. Holding grudges does not benefit anyone involved.
I really need to examine my feelings for a few people. I must admit that I have angst and even some hatred in my heart for my mother's sister and a couple of my sisters' friends.*

2. Ask to be forgiven by God and by man. (family and friends)
*I should ask God to forgive me all day long. These days, I'm always doing something that against my prescribed standards for living. But since I believe that my God is a Lord of mercy and grace, I am not burdened with guilt.
As for my family and friends, I really should apologize to them for any offenses that I've committed. So often, I feel like what I'm saying is right. But the tone, the package that the message is wrapped in is not pretty sometimes. I think this is where the strife comes from.
And even though I am not as tough and rude as my folks can be, I still should try to develop a better strategy with dealing with them. Just because they curse me, does not mean that I should recipricate their behavior.
I think that in the very near future, I will sit down with my folks and ask for forgiveness.*

3. Hold the loves of my life in my arms so tight, assuring them that my love for them out lives my physical existence here on Earth. (Tears are forming in my eyes. I'm absolutely not a person to cry. That's how much I love my nieces and nephew.) Then I would tell Joseph, Gabby, and Joseph that they can be anything they wanted to be. And to never believe the destructive assessments that others make about them. I would remind them that they are special to God and living for Him is the only way to "live".
*I do that now. These kids are not my won. But I handle them with the same love, tenderness, and kindness that I would if they were my children.*

4. I would thank my mother and father for the selfless investments they made in my life. I would apologize to them for not being able to do more for them in their elder years. Then, I would hug, hug, and hug them until I stop crying. I would reassure them that I'm okay with dying, even if I'm not. I never want them to worry excessively about me, even unto death.
*I do that now. I don't hug them enough though. Interestingly enough, since my mother's stroke, she doesn't like to be that affectionate. I think she just don't feel good. As for my daddy, that Louisiana man is always down for a hug and a kiss. I need to give him more of those.*

5. I would sit in front of my computer and write letters to my family and friends, letting them know everything that I hadn't told them yet. I would reaffirm how important each of them are in my life. I would demand that they fulfill their purpose for living. And then I will thank them for the good times and the bad. I would somehow reassure them that all the experiences we had, even the ones that were awful, helped mold, develop, and mature me.
*Ireally need to do this now. I do it a little bit in e-mails or in blog posts. But for the most part, I have not sat down and done this. But now that you've called me to the carpet, I will.*

6. I would update my blog for the last time. I would pull out my most poignant posts and place them in a specific spot on the blog. Then I would bid my final farewells to my blogging family, thanking them for giving me their time and attention.
*Can't do this one just yet. But I have tried to pull out my fav blog posts. I need to go through them a little closer.*

7. I would provide my folks with the passwords to all of my e-mail, social networking sites, voice mails, and financial accounts.
*Everytime I try to give my best friends this information, they get mad at me for bringing up death. They won't even take the info. I guess I need to type them out and put them in the front of my file cabinet in my room. That way, a family member will be able to find them when they need them.*

8. I would gather up insurance papers and give them to my parents. I would transfer all of my money to my parent's banking accounts. I would call my lawyers and have them draft a will for me. (I don't have much. But I would want it distributed according to my wishes.)
*I will get a will drafted for my birthday this summer. Right now, I need to focus on getting my mother's will done. I have my insurance info in a safe place. But I need to make sure that both of parents know where to find it.*

9. I would place all of my writings, essays, unfinished books, poetry, and speeches, into a electronic and hard folder. I would preselect which one of my writings I would want to be included in my funeral program. Then I would leave special instructions to my folks on how to print, bind, and distribute it to family and friends.
*I absolutely need to do this. And I will make it my special project in the next 30 days.*

10. I would call my friends and share laughs, cries, and prayers with them. I would reassure them that I am dying in peace. I would thank them for being the best friends that a girl could've had. I would tell them to live their dreams, no matter the cost.
*I do that now, minus the tears. LOL! I'm not one for crying. But I'm sure if I knew that I was going to die in hours, I would be doing some shonuff crying.*

11. I would call my pastor and ask him to visit me. We would talk about my life, my God, and my resting place. I would tell him what I would want him to tell the people. I would thank him for providing me with spiritual enrichment and covering me with prayer. Then, I would ask him to share a word of encouragement with me, read a passage of scripture, and pray one last prayer with me.
*I'm now developing a close relationship with my new pastor. I will share with him some of these things. He and I are learning more about one another. So, as he learns, he will know what to tell the people.*

12. After all of that is said and done, I would take a bath, take something to help me relax (Wine or medication... Perhaps both... LOL), get in the bed, hold my Bible, put on the sweetest worship music, tell the Lord one final thank you, and go to sleep with my mama holding my hand and my daddy watching me from the chair next to my bed. (I know that Mama and Daddy would stay there with me until the end.)
*I wish I could go out like this. That's ideal for me.*

sacredly breathing said...

Happy MLK Birthday.

Angie, I hope the actions you take will clear and open your heart so that you may live in joy. Also your show of love and compassion has the power to heal hearts and minds.

Angie-Nuvision said...

Thank you SB! Happy MLK Day to you.

What do you mean that my show of love and compassion has the power to heal? Expound please. I would certainly appreciate it.

I'm trying to learn more bout how I'm perceived by others, even through the written word.

Peace to you.

AB

PS... Forgive me for the typos in the previous response. I was typing fast and wasn't paying close attention.