In the young adult book Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt, Keturah, a sixteen year old girl living during medieval times, converses on several occasions with Lord Death. In one of their conversations she asks what it is like to die. Lord Death says, “You experience something similar every day. It is as familiar to you as bread and butter.” Keturah replies, “Yes, it is like every night when I fall asleep.” Lord Death replies, “No. It is like every morning when you wake up.”

I really liked what Lord Death said. My spiritual beliefs tell me that my husband did have an awakening when he died. For him, that which may not have been clear is clear. That which was not whole was made whole, as I believe he is a spirit being now, awaiting the resurrection. Then I thought about me.

Was death an awakening to me? I can say with certainty my husband’s death caused an awakening within me. I see life so differently now. While I am not perfect at living what I now feel, I have a very different, broader perspective on life. Some things just don’t matter while other things matter so much. I am more easy-going than I was before. I am trying to be more aware of others’ feelings and situations. I make a concerted effort not to judge (still working on this). I try to remember there is more than one side to a story and to be more forgiving. While not being stupid, I live without fear. As a fellow widow told me at lunch today, time is my friend. I squeeze as much life as I can out of every day.

Death has truly been an awakening.