Claire Wineland is an 18 year old woman who is living with a chronic illness called cystic fibrosis (CF). Claire has a mission, and an admirable one at that. She aims to raise awareness about CF and raise money to help families affected by this disease.
If you keep up with current events, charities, or have been on Facebook recently you may be familiar with her message.
(here is a link to one of her vlogs if you’re not)
She has been fighting for her life since she was 16. She’s living her life with an incurable disease, but is making the most of what she’s been given.
She’s living an amazing legacy and has accomplished more in her first 18 years of life than many of us ever will. I admire her efforts to normalize death and ultimately teach coping mechanisms, but I want to take the opportunity to present a greater message.
The Normalcy of Death and Coping with Loss
Death is not a normal thing.
Despite our best efforts to live a longer, healthier, or even more *organic* life, death still happens. And it still feels odd.
On this side of Heaven, we must experience and learn to cope with death. It’s heart breaking when you lose someone you love and causes us to feel grief. When faced with death and our own mortality we are left with the decision to either give into despair or be propelled into hope.
Death is hard because I’m not sure if it was part of Gods original blueprint for Humanity. If that’s the case, then there’s a reason it feels so incredibly unnatural.
I’m not enough of a theologian to know if that last statement is definitively true or not. But I like to dream, and in my imaginative/uber nerd mind I see His original plan for death being a little like a scene from Lord of the Rings. I like to imagine that you would reach an age where you would board a boat that “retired” you to a place like Valinor…but we’ll leave that idea to my crazy imagination 🙂
(please keep reading if I just lost you on that one…lol)
No matter what passing into Eternity would have looked like before the fall, we must face the fact that in the here and now, it’s difficult. Much like our friend Claire, there are healthy ways we can help each other understand death and cope with it, but I long for the day that death shall be no more.
Live it Well:
This begs the question: In the here and now, with death being inevitable, how will you choose to live your life? Chances are you don’t have a disease that has limited your life span. Chances are that you have a long life ahead of you that will be filled with many blessings and a life that I hope will be lived of love.
Do not be afraid of death.
Death will be conquered.
Do not be afraid of that last breath.
While you are here, live of love.
Live as if every breath might be your last.
No one is promised tomorrow.
and not even the rest of today.
We are only promised the PRESENT.
Live each day like your legacy depends on it.
In His grand plan of redemption, death is put to death and will be no more when he comes to make all things new.
Though death is inevitable, so is its defeat.
Our Conquering King will return.
He will wipe every tear from our eyes.
Death will be no more.
There will be no more mourning.
He will make all things new.
I’m thankful for the message Claire is bringing. One that teaches us to cope with the inevitable. I feel that it’s a message that speaks hope into our fallen world. I’m not sure if she has a Christian worldview or not, but her approach to what we will inevitably face one day is a message of hope.
Claire, I doubt we will ever meet, but thank you for changing the world. Thank you for being a living example of what it means to make the most of life. Thank you for living selflessly and changing the lives of countless individuals.
May God bless you richly for your work.