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A Man's Perspective: Death

A Man's Perspective: Death

Posted by Nick on Oct 3rd 2020

When I was in my early teens, I helped care for the yard of a (very) elderly neighbor - cutting the grass, weeding, planting flowers and shrubs, and the like.⁠

He seemed positively ancient to me. I was always afraid that he would keel over and die in front of me. I had lost a grandparent at a young age, but I was too young to comprehend all the events leading up to her passing. This was different; I saw the old man twice a week, and the fear of his death was in the back of my mind at every visit. In a way, I had never been more afraid of anything in my entire life.⁠

The old man died from injuries sustained in a traffic collision just a couple years after I met him. It was a tragic, senseless accident, caused by a careless driver who struck his car only a short distance from home. I was badly shaken by the event, and to this day I still find myself experiencing pain and sorrow at his passing.⁠

Sometimes, I think about how he shuffled around the lawn, slowly pruning back the hedge, watering the flowers, and directing me where to work. There was so little that he could do on his own. And just like he counted on me to help achieve a sort of imperfect "beatific vision" around his earthly home, the poor souls in purgatory count on us to fast and pray for them, and to offer our good works on their behalf, in order to help them achieve Heaven.⁠

I live with this motto always before me: Memento Mori, "remember that you will die." I think the old man did, too. Despite his age and his infirmity, he never gave up, and he never stopped working in that yard of his. May we all follow that example, tending the garden of our souls, and never stop walking the path of holiness.⁠

During the month of November, we have a special opportunity to pray for the dead. I hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity. Pray for our dear departed brothers and sisters! And pray for the old man. His name was Joe.