Each week, we will be releasing one of the student blog posts from the Thinking Series Online Course that we find excellent. Today, we share with you a post written by Kendal Venzke. Her original article can be found here.
There is something that all people will eventually experience. In different ways perhaps, but it is something that is inescapable for all people. Death.
What exactly is death? Scientifically speaking, it is difficult to pinpoint when death actually occurs. On the other hand, we do know when something is no longer living. The concept of death is something that I have had to come to terms with; that there is an end to life. Not only are there people continually dying all across the world, but several years ago it became a reality for me personally. My Aunt had been diagnosed with brain cancer and was given a time limit on how long she would live. Even though we were not super close the reality of what that meant really struck me. Once she died, she would be gone from this earth forever and what did that mean exactly? A year later, I had another personal experience with death. While I was travelling in Ireland, and did not have good communication with my family, I found out through Facebook that my Grandpa (who had been sick for a time) had passed away. I was filled with grief and then surprise at the idea that my Grandpa was no longer physically in this world. It still brings tears of grief to think about. With these experiences and the knowledge that everybody will one day die, what did I think about death?
Death has never really been something that scared me. I even remember moments in my life where I knew that my actions could result in my death, and even then I was not scared. Was it because of my faith in the Jesus of the Bible that caused me to have no fear in this realm? I am still not really sure.
I grew up in a household that believes in the Christian doctrine of life after death, and I would naively agree with church tradition that when people died they went to heaven. But once death actually came knocking on the door to those that I loved, it became different. What assurance did I have that they would be in heaven after they died?