Life and Death


I was raised in a secular home. There was no talk of heaven or an afterlife. This life was all there was. And yet at the age of five I dreamed I died. My parents and friends circled over me, weeping, their tears striking my face as I released my final breath. But there was no darkness. Instead, a little cloud pushed its way out of my chest and rose to a position above the circle of mourners. Suddenly I was there, looking down. I wanted to tell them, “It’s OK. I’m still here. I’m still me.” But they couldn’t hear. They didn’t understand.

Later, as a confirmed atheist, I tried to dismiss the dream. But I couldn’t. All my life I’ve sensed, both before and after coming to believe in the Author of life (Acts 3:15), that to ignore death is to miss the meaning of life.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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33 Responses to Life and Death

  1. Running the Race says:

    I never had a dream but when I was around 10 or so I thought about what happens to us when we die and, somehow, I knew in my gut there was more than what we have on Earth.

    Even though I grew up a non-believer, I thought, I could not shake the feeling that there was more and perhaps a higher power.

    Thais makes me certain that their is an absolute truth in Romans 20:1

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Always loved this line from W.S. Merwin’s poem…
    Send me out into another life
    lord because this one is growing faint
    I do not think it goes all the way

    Liked by 4 people

  3. It’s like Ged says in the Earthsea novels, that to eliminate death is to eliminate life, and only to men is it given to know that we must die and it is a great gift. I was paraphrasing because I don’t want to look up the reference, but it is still a great quote.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Mischenko says:

    Life on Earth is just an introduction, imho! 💜

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I love your testimony. I have had people dismiss my story because they assume I’m a Christian only because I was raised in a Christian home, and it frustrates me. Then one day I saw where someone wrote that to you, and you had the opportunity to say, “Actually, no, …” It made me smile. I’m so glad God had His hand on you from the very beginning.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Big Happy Life says:

    There was an article in the Independent in May suggesting that the first person who’ll live to be 1000 is already alive. Even if it’s only half true, it seems your question is one that requires direct attention very soon.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. joyroses13 says:

    Wow! I love how God speaks to us in so many ways!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. For in the midst of life we are in death. I used to feel differently about death before I saw a good bit of it. Working for years as a parish nurse I was often with people when they died. I never saw anyone die any way but peacefully. I know bad deaths happen but obviously not always. There is no guarantee how many years we have for each of us has our own individual life span. I hear people say “his life was cut short” but that is not how I think. Some die as infants (as I saw in neonatal intensive care) and some very old but that is their individual life. We will miss those we love and go to join them someday. Without death life would not have the same meaning.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Pastor Randy says:

    Well said. And to think, some Tenured Pew Sitters think that God hates atheist!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. wizki says:

    I am still a confirmed atheist, but it doesn’t mean I can’t see the beauty in your sentiment or not be spiritual–you write with a sensitivity that bears listening to, no matter how a person feels about life or death, and I respect that. As somebody who’s lived nearly half my life in Japan, I feel that “we in the West” (yeah, huge generalization there I know) have stopped truly facing death. We use euphemisms like “passed away” to cloak the very real fact that people, with all their loves, flaws, dreams, etc. won’t be coming back, at least not in any form we’re used to. The Japanese tend to be much more realistic about the whole thing IMHO, with close family attending the cremation of their loved ones and even physically handling their bones afterward. It would be wonderful if there’s more to this complex cycle of life, but I feel it makes things all the more poignant and precious, not less, to acknowledge death as something that, at least on this plane, is final. Peace to you, and thanks for a thoughtful post on what is a Tuesday morning for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. carhicks says:

    Very interesting. I know this is just a small part of my life, the everlasting is yet to come, but we all seem so afraid to leave this earthly life. It is nice to read all these comments.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. God has spared me on many occasions. I was actually pronounced dead at age 2. There’s been, missed by stray bullet, car wrecks, ( including being T-boned by bus), pancreatitis, snakebite, and a couple of mountaineering accidents. I walked out from it all thanks to God.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Terri Nida says:

    Very profound. I’d like to hear your life story and how you went from an atheist to a believer in Christ. Is that anywhere on your blog site?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Richelle Giles says:

    Thankfully, death is not the final chapter in our books ♡. Psalms 37: 29 says, “The righteous will posses the Earth, and they will live forever on it.”

    Liked by 2 people

  15. DiDi says:

    I had a dream that my grandmother came to say goodbye to me a week exactly before her death. She was clothed in white and was smiling at me with light shining from the windows in the dull hospital room she was currently residing. There’s so much details but it felt so real.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. DEATH is the only sure thing,I believe it to be the side effect of divinity

    Liked by 1 person

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