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Viewpoint from Emma Sivyer 15/07/2022

Licensed Lay Minister
Martham Parish Churches

As I write, I have just been reading the news of the announcement of the death of Dame Deborah James. Her story is a mixture of tragedy and inspiration.  The death of a wife and Mum at just 40 years old is devastating, especially for her friends and family but the way that Dame Deborah chose to live her final years has brought comfort and encouragement to many
One of the things Dame Deborah did was to raise funds to contribute to research into treatments for cancer.  As we get increased knowledge of medical science, we are able to treat more and more diseases, more and more effectively.  We can do things now that were unthinkable even a decade ago. The Bible describes God breathing life into the first humans and it is absolutely natural that we fight to keep that life for as long as possible. Medical scientists use their God-given creativity to develop treatments to do just that, but in the end we will all face death
dove leftThere is no doubt that knowing that death is approaching changes how people live their lives.  I once attended a course on improving mental health and we were asked to write our own obituaries.  That might sound a bit depressing but the purpose was to make us think about what we wanted to be remembered for.  In thinking about that, we would realise the things that were most important to us and as a result, realise how we wanted to balance our time and energy hopefully long before facing death
Dame Deborah will be remembered for the honesty with which she shared the details of her condition, her courage in the face of unpleasant treatments, her tenacity in using every opportunity available to her to raise funds and awareness.  Her actions wrote a great obituary for her
When we follow Jesus, he gives us the greatest gift and takes our death and exchanges it for his eternal life but he also challenged us to build up ‘treasure in heaven’ (Matthew 6:20).  That seems to me to be about how we live now so what is it that you want to be remembered for?

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