During Easter, considering your death will lead you to bright horizons.

At the ripe old age of five years old I came up with my own version of a memento mori. It was totally by chance—there was no real backstory other than a curious (adopted) kid struggling to make sense of his existence. The experience is memorable because it was so traumatic. You can imagine for yourself what happens when a kid lies in his bed and stares into the dark repeating the phrase, “forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever…”

If that scenario causes you to feel a pang of sympathy, thank you. I’d exasperate myself to the point of hysteria, jump out of bed and run downstairs and into the arms of my concerned mother. I was inconsolable, babbling on and on about “forever” and “eternity.” This would become a habit, but the first few times were as alarming to her as they were to me. So, with the Andy Griffith show on in the background, my mom would try to answer my one and only question: “What happens when we die?” Like any caring mother, she would mention “heaven” and “God” and “being good” and on and on until I’d finally calm down and go back to bed. Yet, no matter how hard she tried, I never heard an answer that truly satisfied the potent mix of fear and curiosity.

Thankfully, my trips downstairs subsided as time passed, but my obsession with the question did not. It wasn’t until nearly two decades later that I found the answer I sought. It turns out my mom was onto something: a proper understanding of death is undoubtedly linked to the concepts of God and heaven and the Bible— it just takes a lot of searching to get down to the nitty-gritty.

The fact is that people die, dreams …

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