It’s hard to be old. Many people told me so and I believe them.
In spite of that, some people seem to be able to deal with old age better than others. A peaceful old face is a delightful sight. It’s a sign of a wise soul, one that learned to live with pain, with loneliness, with fear.
Other faces tell about people who are bitter and resentful about the cards they were dealt. I’m not sure if they are this way because they are afraid of dying or if they are pissed off that after all this misery they endure they’ll have to die on top of it.
We often say about people who suffer for a long time on their deathbed that their passing was a relief, a gift.
I have this crazy notion that our life is a gift that we are meant to nurture, enhance, perfect and, at some point, give it back as a gift. Dying becomes, thus, the fulfillment of life.
On second thought, I can see this for someone who dies of old age, in their sleep. It’s harder to imagine someone whose life was reduced to suffering being able to treat life as as a gift to offer. Add to that the fact that decline is the last segment of the life curve and it might not make such a great gift to give anyways.
Maybe if we make our life outstanding early one, there will be enough left to give after the decline.
Judging by what some people go trough in their last years, maybe we have to strip away everything (possessions, loved ones, our minds, and our bodies) and leave the soul hanging by itself, an open book ready to be judged.
There is no secret handshake with God, there are only open arms greetings.
Everything we ever did left a mark on our soul, for better or worse. Action, thought or feeling, they all shaped our essence. The only way I can imagine judgement day is the measurement of that essence.
This proposition doesn’t necessarily make morality an exclusively internal matter. Right or wrong can still be learned from external sources like religion, can still change and evolve.
Spiritual life can be a constant evolution culminating in death.