Halloween is strange. Skeletons decorate lawns. Fear is prime real estate in the "fun to do." The "shadows" come out to play. Death is paraded for the world to embrace. I do not like thinking about death. Even on Halloween. I like cute pumpkins. Funny costumes. Trick-or-treaters.
Guilt-free Kitkat bars. NOT DEATH. Perhaps this is why. I am often held captive by my fear of death. It's where my anxiety heads on any given day. At times, I am able to "keep it in its rightful place," and move along. But at others, I feel fragile, afraid, and my heart is off to the races I would love to get to a place where I don't fear death at all. I'm not sure if that's even possible. But I'm pretty sure I don't have to be a slave to this excruciating fear, wear it as a weighty chain around my neck, and allow it to lead me down the "not living anyway" path. As of late, I have felt a few links come off and I wonder if this might be (at least some of) the reason: I am leaning into it, instead of avoiding it. Spending time and energy with those who are grieving and not trying to fix their pain (and thus, my own). Asking questions about walking through it with a fiercely-loved one and being reminded again how God shows up in the middle of it all, and it's one of those "thin places" where heaven touches earth, awful and beautiful, but mostly exquisitely sacred. It all seems to reveal, like nothing else can, that "LOVE is stronger than death." In fact (as my hubby often reminds me)... I was born in LOVE. I've come from it. I am currently held in LOVE. I'm safe. And eventually, I will return to LOVE. Sigh. Death (as scary as it is) cannot destroy the REAL ME. I will live forever, doused in and surrounded by LOVE. It is much stronger (HE is much stronger) than Death. I'll still have my moments and days and seasons of slavery to fear. Of taking chain links on and off. I'm still in a "continuing to heal" place in this area. Maybe we all are.