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Fear of Death


Photo Leander Syrieix

Death frightens me; it paralyzes me so much that I do not dare sometimes visit relatives or acquaintances who are preparing to experience it. I have heard that it is by death that we meet you face-to-face Lord. Is it perhaps because of this slogan that death scares me so much?

I finally realize that I have so far rationalized the issue of death, that I have taken refuge behind beautiful formulas to escape and avoid this undeniable reality.

But what makes me so afraid of death? Is it all the wounds of my life like abandonment, denial, the experience of rejection in many forms, etc.? Is it because of so much harm during my life? Is it because of so much evil of which I was the author? Is it for fear of being forgotten from my relatives and people I have known? Or, is it for fear of my vision of the afterlife, for fear of being in solitude and wandering forever?

One thing is certain; the idea of death frightens me, yet I believe in You, God of Love and Life. Is it because of the experience of rejection or denial of the death of some relatives I witnessed?

I may have justified my fear of death by imputing the cause to others, but I have certitude, I feel in my flesh, deep in my bowels something that paralyzes me in the face of death.

Suddenly, I notice in the innermost part of myself that I am afraid of death because of my conception of You, O God! The idea of knowing me face to face with you for the ultimate meeting scares me.

It is the fear of Your gaze that arouses in me the flight of death. It is the fear of my personal sin that frightens me when I think of death. Paradoxically, I believe in the Love who is You, who has for face your Son, whose power is the Spirit and of which You are the source. I believe you are Love. How is it possible then that I am so afraid of death? Probably because I create a certain vision of You instead of knowing you, instead of letting me seize by your Grace, by your Love.

I am afraid of death because deep inside me, I know it is the way to meet you and I realize then that I am not ready. I am afraid of death because I think I am perfect to see you face to face. Now, you are the Father full of Mercy. And since perfection is not of this world, it is my pride that takes over and generates this fear of death, this feeling of imperfection.

I am afraid of death because I feel the need to trust. Not that I do not trust you. I am afraid of death because of the unknown, because of the mystery of the hereafter. It is my tendency to want to control everything, to want to seize everything that feeds this fear of death. And in the face of the mystery of death, I feel helpless, my fear of losing control, my fear of abandoning myself.

Lord, you see my fear of death, gather and turn towards you my thoughts, because in you is love, in you is the light, in you is hope. Lead me to this place of the beatific vision in your presence, for nothing, except your Love, can get me out of this fear that numbs me.

Lead me Lord to this place where I can be in your presence, where I can meet you, where I can see you in the light far from the darkness of the terror that dwells in my mind. Grant me the grace of Hope, to be one day on the other side with you and finally free from my fear. Permit me to close my eyes and find peace and joy to know that I am walking towards you.

Amen.

© Leander Syrieix.

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