Friday, September 07, 2007

Contemplating Death


is a place...


there's no company,

where nobody

can follow.

Flannery O'Connor

Camille's Deathbed by Claude Monet
Oil on canvas

This painting is one of the subjects covered in Susan Vreeland's Life Studies, an interesting book which I have picked up and down several times over the past few years. The chapter is entitled "Winter of Abandon" and offers some interesting insight into Claude and Camille's relationship. Furthermore, I learned that Monet painted this canvas immediately upon her passing, shewing everyone out of the room.


Or *One Time Chance to catch the light in this situation?*

At any rate, I thought it an appropriate illustration to highlight some current thoughts I have had on *death*. The first is a quote from Polycarp, that great Christian martyr:

"The business of the Christian is in one sense nothing else than to be ever preparing for death."

Now have you ever thought of that? I mean what steps have you taken, either mental or physical, in preparation for your death?


I think too much.........


Recent deaths of high profile individuals:
9/1 = 1983 Larry McDonald, US Congressman

9/5/07 = D. James Kennedy
9/6/07 = Luciano Pavarotti
9/6/07 = Madeline L'Engle


  1. Hmmmm. That's a subject on my mind lately. A very good friend of my father's is near death, and his son and daughter, whom I knew growing up, are with him now. We are praying for Mr. S. (who is a Christian) and for comfort and strength and,hopefully, joy for his children and grandchildren. Mr. S. had cancer and was told by his dr. two days ago to go home - he would die that night or within 2 weeks. So he called my father to come sit with him that night.

    It's made me think. Would I rather know that my death was close, or would I prefer to be ignorant?

  2. Oh, dear! Laura...

    I havent finished this entry and I hope you will check back.

    I have many more thoughts.

  3. I'm glad you wrote more - it's good to know more about the painting, too.

    Earlier this summer a friend from church died from cancer. She was a few years older than me, but not by much. I call her a friend, although I spent a total of less than 8 hours with her in all the time I knew her. Perhaps it was that she was the type of person who befriended others rapidly and easily, or perhaps because she had lived with cancer for a few years and was aware of the temporary nature of life, she made me feel like we had a lifetime of friendship behind us and ahead of us, and I got so much from the moments spent with her. She truly "numbered her days." She didn't speak of death, dying, her illness, but she reveled in life, in what lay ahead - her oldest son's wedding (which will be this Dec.), her younger son's job, her husband's love for her, God's unfailing provision day after day. She enjoyed Rachel Ray, and her Labrador dog. When she had the strength, she got out of bed and prepared meatloaf for her family's supper. She showed me the paintings she'd done and those she would finish when she could...

    In the midst of dying, she lived. I did not even realize how ill she was, because it wasn't what she spoke of, nor how she lived each moment.

  4. I think when your parents die when you are in high are forced to think about death and accept it and how it is always untimely.

    It also forces one to think about heaven and hell and Jesus and his purpose.

    At a young age. When all of your friends are thinking about the homecoming dance.

  5. My heart aches for you, Donna. Your loss is fresh to me... and I think often of how well you have handled the situation.

    Thanks for stopping by!


  6. Dana,
    You are so sweet.

    Our parents loved life and they loved us all so much.

    The way they lived their short lives effected us all in a big way.

    We love one another and we love our children like they loved us.

    Big love.
    Fun and real and deep.