New Perspectives: Death Came For Tea by Rev. Heather McCarrel

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Last week Death came for tea and stayed the afternoon.  We shared in chocolate cake, sugar cookies, conversation and a few good laughs.

One of the women of the church had arranged for a ‘Death Café’ inviting a Death Doula (someone trained to accompany the dying) to lead and encourage conversation. One may think an afternoon of discussing death would be sad or depressing but it was quite the opposite.  Our afternoon was full of stories, plans and laughter.

Why would we spend a lovely summer afternoon discussing death?  Because it is important we each remember our death is pending in order to capture the grandeur of each moment.  The average lifespan is around 80 years which works out to 4,160 weeks.  Or, to put it into another perspective, we each have 80 winters, 80 springs, 80 summers and 80 autumns.  To remember our death is to remember how very valuable each season is.  This remembering should cause us all to slow down, look around and savor the passing beauty.

The stoics taught there is wisdom in reminding ourselves daily of our impending death. Seneca, one of the greatest stoics, “reminds us that death is something that’s happening here, even as you read this. The time that passes belongs to death, he says. What is lived we never get back. We are dying every minute, every second. When we hurry we are speeding that along” (The Daily Stoic).

May we all slow down this summer and soak in the irreplaceable beauty of each moment,