Perhaps you’re aware that deaths of famous people increased 50% in 2016.
Among them: David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Alan Rickman, Nancy Reagan, Ronnie Corbett, Muhammad Ali, Sir George Martin, Leonard Cohen, Victoria Wood, Andrew Sachs, Gene Wilder, Sir Jimmy Young, Fidel Castro, Sir Terry Wogan, Arnold Palmer, Elie Wiesel, et al. Largely explained by the baby boomers’ generation (born 1946 – 64) reaching their 60’s and 70’s and the growing culture of celebrity.
Whatever the reasons, more regularly hearing of famous people dying, soberly reminds us of our own mortality. Some face it with humour:
“I get up each morning and dust off my wits,
Open the paper, and read the Obits.
If I’m not there, I know I’m not dead,
So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed!
How do I know my youth is all spent?
My get-up-and-go has got up and went!
But, in spite of it all, I’m able to grin
And think of the places my getup has been!”
The poetry of a pensioner anticipating ‘the inevitable’ with grinning, grateful resignation.
I have 3 church funerals this week of dear older folk, each funeral a celebration of their lives and a commending into God’s Hands. Faith in Jesus Christ makes all the difference to such occasions, enabling a broader and brighter perspective. The prospect of eternal life can swallow sorrow and help dry loss’s tears. The grieving process is still raw and real but seeing a loved one in God’s safe hands and at Home with Christ forever, is such great comfort.
At 54, it’s sobering to appreciate I’m in my ‘latter years’ and a spur to ensure that I make the most of them in service and legacy. The purpose, by which I measure how I spend my time and resources, is “To share Jesus’ Love and help people take steps closer to Him.”
Alfred Nobel woke up to read his own obituary in the papers. His brother ‘Ludvig’ had died and journalists got their wires crossed. Alfred Nobel realised that he didn’t want to be known as the inventor of dynamite and bombs of mass destruction, so he set up ‘The Nobel Peace’ prize. And it worked, every year Nobel’s name is recognised beside someone who made our world that bit brighter. What legacy are we in the process of leaving?