Perception of Death Essay Example



Have you ever believed one thing to be true and find that factual evidence tells you the direct opposite? I experienced this a few years ago and through debate, research, and examination my viewpoint changed. It is never an easy thing to find yourself in a position that something you have so adamantly believed to be true may not be as it seemed. My experience was no different, and although there was nothing wrong with my original view of reality, the facts did not align with what I had allowed myself to believe.

As a child, I had never lost a person important to me to death, so I had my concept of when someone died and who died. I constructed the idea in my mind that only people who were horrible and did immoral things in life, and people who were older and lived a long life died. I knew in my heart that if a person was kind, loyal, trustworthy, and loving that they would not pass away until they were extremely old. When I was seven, my great-grandmother passed away and although I was saddened by her death, she had lived a full abundant ninety-two years. Her death fit my perceived description of people who died. I did not encounter a death that rocked me to my core until I was fourteen years old. I was a freshman in high school and had built a solid relationship with my private clarinet instructor, Mr. Culbreth, who passed away expectantly. I had taken lessons from him for over two years, and we had performed in an orchestra together. He not only mentored me in my musical skills, but he also taught me valuable life lessons. He was the first person that meant something to me on a personal/professional level. We discussed life and music and how they can go hand in hand. He taught me that life would not always be easy but with hard work and perseverance, I could accomplish any goal I set for myself. I held his opinions in high regard and he encouraged me to be a better person. In October 2016, my mentor lost his fight with cancer at the age of sixty. Mr. Culbreth’s death did not factor into my idea of when a person dies or who dies. He was an extraordinary person, a father, a husband, and he was still young. He had so much left to accomplish in my eyes, and I still had so much more to learn from him. My emotions were out of control and I refused to listen to the people around me. I felt that was taken from me, and because of that, I wanted to quit and never look back. I was encouraged to contemplate what he would tell me and what he would want me to do before I made any extreme decisions.

As I navigated through all the emotion of Mr. Culbreth’s death, I reflected on everything he had taught me, and his words hung heavy in my heart and on my mind. I remembered discussions I had with my parents and grandparents about the death of my great-grandmother, and a realization of the facts became abundantly clear to me. It is not just awful people or the elderly that die, everyone dies when the job God has put them here to do is complete. It does not matter how old they are, what admirable characteristics they possess, or how healthy of a life they have lived. I read my Bible, researched some of the great people in history that had passed, and then analyzed the data I collected. I then prayed for a better understanding of death and why some wonderful people die so young. That is when I discovered that God lends us to this Earth to perform a specific job, when we have finished the job to his satisfaction he calls us home to Heaven. 

I had believed for so long that morally challenged people and the elderly were the only ones who died, but now I acknowledge the fact that there is no validity to that belief. Death is a part of life and only God knows when a person’s time will come. Death is not determined by the attributes you possess, what you currently have in your life (family, money, job, or plans), or your age, but instead is determined by the person who granted us life in the beginning. I now understand that our life has a purpose, and when that purpose is fulfilled our trust in God will return us to our home in Heaven.