In the midst of undergoing a serious life-altering incident, one often experiences the feeling of a paradigm shift. It is amazing to see how our perspectives of the world shift when forced to reflect on what is truly important. Such is the way with death. Being near death causes a sharp realization of what is truly important in life--love of family and friends, faith in God, and making the world a better place to live in--and enables one to not merely accept this, but apply it to their life as well. All those typical, average daily worries and concerns about homework, professional careers, food, sleep, personal grooming, etc., while important and necessary in everyday life must seem unbelievably minuscule when the death has wiped ones eyes clear and the big picture of life has come into focus. If an individual suddenly becomes aware that their time on earth is coming to a close or is suddenly thrust into a meaningful relationship with someone trying to deal with such a phenomenon, as is the case in Tuesdays With Morrie, a contemporary book written by the popular sports journalist Mitch Albom, serious personal change can occur as a result. In fact, a person is only able to reach such a tangible state of enlightenment and understanding of the world around them in those last moments before death.
To reach some understanding of the important affects that death can have, we must first explore the devastatingly real shock that the end of something so permanent as life must provide. No one can ever truly know what the feeling of death is like until they actually feel it for themselves, but for the purpose of this exercise, let us imagine what it must closely resemble. Words such as afraid, daunting, intimidated, unsure, confusion, hopelessness, sorrow, and countless others spring to mind. The actual realization that death is very near must be unbearably weird, for it is something that is as much a part of life as birth, yet is totally unprepared for in...
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