published: November 2019

by Eric Weiss

My health has not been good, and my vitality has gotten so low that I’ve gotten to wondering whether maintaining this life is worth the high effort and high costs involved keeping this body going.

One day last week, I was walking outside near my home when Death showed up. Death  showed me that he meant to make me give up everything that I hold dear.  He would take my participation in this world, and he would take my body, my feelings and my thoughts.  He would take all of me.

Death then presented an invitation to me.  He gave me the chance to give up the game and to just accept the inevitable; to become old on the spot, and to begin a rapid descent into the dying process.  As I stood there, considering Death’s invitation, it suddenly occurred to me that giving in that easily to Death would be undignified. That word, “undignified,” caught me by surprise.  I wouldn’t have thought that “being dignified” would be what what would keep me alive.  But it somehow allowed me to see that giving up too early would not be fair to life, and would not lead to a good death.

I decided to commit my personal will to staying alive for as long as it is practical.  I will not hasten my death, and this decision is already being reflected in my current state of health.

And then Death surprised me. He said, “Yes, it’s true, you have to give everything up—but here’s the thing: you also get to give everything up.”    Since I’ve been “spiritual,” I’ve longed for a glimpse of the part of me that transcends life and death.  Through death, I will get that glimpse.  Death is still terrible, but it is also a wonderful teacher and liberator.  It now sits on my shoulder, and starts to change everything.