Tim Stafford¹, wrote the following to his father:


“Sometimes years back–I think I was in college, with the Vietnam draft hanging over my head–I spoke to you about my dread of death. I had only just discovered it in myself–


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…only then allowed myself to look down that dark channel. It gave me the frenzies.

   “I thought your response a little strange. You did not try to tell me that my fears were unnecessary, since death was a passageway to the resurrection. You merely said, ‘It won’t be so frightening when you get older.’

   I have found this true. I still fear death, but not nearly so much as I did. I expect to grow even less afraid. For as I have talked to people older than myself and asked them about death, I have found them as much more curious than frightened.

   We do grow more accustomed to it, and yet never quite. A friend of mine put it this way at 93: ‘I don’t feel afraid of death. Dread, maybe.’

   Most probably, I will watch you face it before I take my turn. I am still afraid to see you go–afraid for you, and afraid for myself. I do not want to die, and I do not want you to die, though we must. Why the fear? Is death not the most natural thing in the world. I do not believe that it is.


  ¹ Tim Stafford, As Our Years Increase: Loving. Caring, Preparing for Life Past 65. pp. 225-226.