It wasn’t my first time dealing with death and it sure wouldn’t be my last.
The first time was when I, as a newly ordained minister, was sent to do a hospital visit. The plan was that I go and visit with an elderly church member and pray with and for her—but when I arrived, I was directed by hospital staff to the basement because my parishioner was downstairs “donating.”
My first time as a cop was on a trip to the morgue. In the fridge, which was the size of a small apartment, had bodies stacked like cordwood along three of the four walls from the floor to just shy of the ceiling. This was my first autopsy.
While working the streets, I have seen many more bodies in death; some as a result of violent confrontations, some due to natural causes, and some at their own hands. The common denominator, they were all dead. As a cop, you have to be distant…hold yourself back so you can study the event from an objective perspective. As a minister, I have to get close; I need to lower my walls so that I can help the church member to get through the difficulty of their time of loss.
The point? We all die—the good guys, bad guys, and the indifferent. So if we all have to die, the question really becomes not how we shall expire, but rather, how shall we live. Think about it….Just saying.