Death is the gate of endless joy

This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.” (John 6: 40)

Jane Oren Wend, my mother-in-law, died this morning at 2 am. My son and sister-in-law had been taking the ‘until 2 am’ shift, and I had just come in for the 2 am shift, so we three were privileged to be present as she breathed her last, calm, peaceful breaths.

This is indeed the will of Jesus and the Father: to give eternal life to his followers. When my wife, Bess, came after hearing the news (along with other family), she prayed a great prayer, part of which reminded us Jane is enjoying a reunion with Jared, her husband and best beloved for many years, with her son Bobby, and with others from who she has been separated. And someday we, too, who have “seen the Son and believe in him,” will be reunited.

Why should we start, and fear to die
What timorous worms we mortals are!
Death is the gate of endless joy,
And yet we dread to enter there.

The pains, the groans, and dying strife,
Fright our approaching souls away;
Still we shrink back again to life,
Fond of our prison and our clay.

O! if my Lord would come and meet,
My soul should stretch her wings in haste,
Fly fearless through death’s iron gate,
Nor feel the terrors as she passed.

Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are,
While on his breast I lean my head,
And breathe my life out sweetly there.

Isaac Watts, Hymn 31, in Psalms and Hymns.

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About Will Fitzgerald

I work on recommendation systems and lexical resources for Wordnik.

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