Death teaches while you dance...if
we listen. While that sounds like an oxymoron, it is critically important
to accept its instruction as it dances with you. It took me doing the
dance twice to pay attention to La Danse Macabre
(French for dance of death) as we were on the dancefloor of life.
There are some critical lessons about which death will instruct us.
Over time, death will
ultimately win. No matter how well one dances and lives life, the reality
is that the cards are stacked against us. We might have good genes passed
down from our parents. We may also follow the various good rules
regarding exercise and eating the correct foods, etc. Nevertheless, we
are not immortal. Death will overcome all our determination to live
Death taught John Donne in 1623
about death. Donne was ill with the Black Death, also known as the
bubonic plague, and wrote the famous Meditation
XVII. Today, we know it as "No
Man is an Island."
No man is an island, entire of
itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be
washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were: any man's death
diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to
know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
Donne realized that death was
correct that "any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in
mankind...." Death made it clear that all humans are related to each other.
Therefore, when a church bell rings telling of a person's death, all the people
Doing the dance, death changed my
Weltanschauung (worldview). My
first grandchild was born years before my two dances with death. However,
when my two grandsons came along, I understood the reality that I wasn't
immortal. Therefore, I go about life informed about the finiteness of the
time that I have. I don't waste my time like I did prior to either of the
dances. That is a critical lesson that death taught me on the dance floor