Last night as I lay in bed I started thinking about the twists and turns my life has taken over time. It occurred to me over Christmas that I only had thirty years until I was my parents’ age, and that I’d already been married for twenty. When I looked at thirty years as the length of one-and-a-half of my spans of married time it seemed instant. Not long at all. Then I got depressed as I wondered who I’d spend Christmas with when I was 70, since I had no children who would come visit me at that point. I actually spent about ten solid minutes thinking of how I would spend a theoretical holiday in thirty years. Then I got a grip and realised that God had thus far provided me with ample resources of love in my life and was surely not about to give up in the future. I decided to just let God surprise me.
But then last night as I was revisiting the idea of Time it occurred to me that the system of our temporally-bound lives is the perfect way to prepare us for death. We do not know for certain–there is no tangible proof of–what happens to us when we die. The issue has been up for debate as long as there have been people. I happen to be in the camp which believes that there is a next step into a consciousness unbound by temporal constraints. That “eternity” means we are no longer forced into a minute-by-minute deconstruction of our consciousness. But I don’t know that for certain of course. It’s merely an idea I play around with when I want some fun thinking.
Of course death is something that many people fear, largely because we don’t know what happens after, other than we are (may be) separated from those we have grown to know and love in this phase of existence. And that got me to further thinking that while I am indeed still technically “alive”, I’ve already experienced “death” millions* of times. Because the world as it exists for me in one second of time is left as soon as that second is over and is changed irreversibly, never to exist again. Three seconds ago I was arguing with myself over whether or not to pull up the iCalc program and figure out exactly how many seconds I had already lived and died. I opted not to. Now I can never go back and perform that task. That world and that option are dead to me.
As I think about it some more I am growing convinced that this part of existence, coupled with the tools of memory and recording via writing, photography, music and art, are the training wheels. Our consciousnesses and souls are learning how to process love and thought so that when we step into the next realm we are truly ready to experience Eternity, when all thoughts and feelings and relationships are part of who we are, irrevocably. And that to me means we will not be separated from those we love because that love is a part of us. In a timeless eternity, not governed by the crippling concept of End, all love just IS. There is no beginning and no end and therefore no separation.
So even though I may spend Christmas alone when I’m seventy, I don’t fear death.
*I’m guessing because I’m not in the mood to calculate the number of seconds I’ve been alive nor to further break that number down into theoretical quantum units of time.