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Study Series:   GOING HOME                                                                       INTRODUCTION


Some time back I found myself exercised about this whole issue of death and dying. Initially I wasn’t at all sure why my thoughts kept orbiting around this subject. As I tried to discover a reason for this unexpected interest in such a morbid subject, a couple of thoughts offered themselves for consideration.

First, our 2ndchild, Philip, died at age 4 months as a result of “SIDS” – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. That was much earlier in our marriage but the anniversary of his death still impacts us each year.

Second, I was soon to turn 70 years of age. Maybe this interest was a response to that significant event? From time to time we joked about the “three score years and ten” as the KJV translates Psalm 90/10. My time was up!

Third, both my parents died in their mid-sixties. At the time when this interest was increasing, I had outlived both my mum and dad by a few years. Could it be that I was dealing with feelings of vulnerability. I was next in line and, if my parents’ age were any gauge, it could be anytime now.

Fourth, I had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease some years prior to that. Although this is a degenerative, neurological condition, I responded well to the medication that was available. My understanding is that most people who have PD. die with it rather than of it. More accurately, they die of complications brought on by the disease. All this must have had its impact on my thinking but, even so, I felt that PD. was more of a nuisance – but a nuisance that reminded me every day of its presence and activity.

But the real deal came crashing in on us a little over 12 months ago. Bev and I walked out of the neurologist’s office where she had just been told that she had Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Based on his experience over many years, the doctor had told us that she could have as little as 12 months to live but would probably not survive three years.

Now my interest in the subject of death and dying became, for us, a reality that is with us every day. MND is very different from PD in that there is no medication and no surgery. The cause is unknown and there is no cure. Bev has nothing to look forward to except this wretched disease slowly permeating her body which, in the words of the Apostle Paul, is “our outer man wasting away, while the inner man is being renewed every day”. (2 Corinthians 4/16)

As the reader would appreciate, we now became especially interested in this subject that we call our “walk through the Valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23)

S0, can you see why I would want to explore this theme with haste. We know that time is short for Bev and maybe for me, too. Then, it’s possible that it could even be shorter for you, dear reader. This is one outcome that I trust will “deliver you from a life of fear about death” and I pray that this series of studies will get you thinking in very positive ways as part of your preparation your preparation for your own “walk through the Valley”

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