Written by cycleguy on January 21st, 2014

One of the newer blogs I have been reading (thanks for the link Dan), is Gospel-Driven Church by Jared Wilson. In a recent post, he featured a young man whose testimony is truly one of courage and grace in dying. The link above will give you the back story to the video. I think it would be well to read Jared’s few short words first, then watch this video.

I’m not going to sugar-coat things by saying dying is easy. I have always had a conundrum in my head: would I want myself or those I love to die quickly, or would I want to have some time before saying, “See you later.” That is a tough one for me.  I echo Paul’s words in Phil.1:21,23-24. Trust me when I say I don’t want to die at this point of my life, but if I do, I want to die gracefully.

I have a friend who lost both his father (heart)and his son (accident) quickly. He used to think quick was the way to go, until he got a double whammy.  Now he’s not too sure.  I have been on both ends.  I’ve watched my mother die from cancer (less than 4 months), but I have also had people close to me die suddenly.

I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be in Nick’s shoes, to know your death is coming, but still wanting to leave something worthwhile behind.  He has left his daughter a tremendous gift with this video. (You may want to say a prayer for her and her mom).

The reality is most of us will not get a “warning shot.” So, unless we go out right now and make a video, chances are real good the only thing we will leave behind is the influence of our life. Long story short: that may be the absolute best thing you can do.  Leave behind a life of influence.  A life of love. A life of giving. A life of challenge. A life not afraid to take risks and make changes.

Nick’s testimony is the best way for his daughter to remember her daddy.  What are you leaving behind?

Have you put together a video for posterity? Do you know someone who has? What are you doing to prepare for the future?


24 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    Bill as you might recall, I have survived several bouts with cancer already. It started when I was still in my 20s, back when I thought that I was invincible. This episode taught me quite the opposite, that I am quite finite indeed. This (ongoing) ordeal has changed some important aspects of my character for the better.

    • cycleguy says:

      i do remember Daniel. I cannot fathom what it would have been like at that age to have a “picture” of your mortality. So glad though you have allowed the trial to make changes for the better. Thanks for your candor.

  2. Caleb Suko says:

    Thanks for sharing the video Bill. It’s powerful. Just a couple of weeks ago a friend of mine passed away from cancer. He was in his early 30s and had two young boys under the age of 3. I know that he had a chance to write to his boys before he died but I don’t know if he did a video. Video is a great idea and so easy to do. Now you’ve got me thinking about my five kids and what I’m leaving behind for them.

    • cycleguy says:

      It was quite moving for me when I saw it. That video would be a good idea, especially for a father/mother who has young children. Glad you appreciated it Caleb.

  3. Bill, I would love to make a video and basically preach my own funeral. Not sure others would like it as much as me though.

  4. Jeff says:

    I think that the video was a great idea to give to his young daughter. I am sure she will view it many times as she grows up.
    I used to be amazed at people that die gracefully but as I get older I have noticed most people die gracefully. It is the living that seem to have the most trouble with it.
    My only plan is to leave my 4 kids a little money and to donate my remains to medical science. I really have no bucket list or regrets and spend no time thinking or worrying about it.

    • cycleguy says:

      I’m with you on the great idea Jeff. I also am with you on the people living gracefully vs. dying gracefully. I am an organ donor also. The only money I will leave to my kids is if I die before a certain age. And I have no bucket list or regrets.

  5. Eileen says:

    What a beautiful video, Bill. Thank you so much for sharing. I love that this dad has found blessing despite his circumstances. I love that he is seizing the moments. He is so right. Some folks will go off to work today and wont make it home tonight. He has the “blessing” to prepare his goodbye. It’s crazy and upside down and yet so beautiful.

    • cycleguy says:

      You’re welcome Eileen. I was deeply touched by it. You are right about seizing the moments because we do not know when it will be our time. There is also a “blessing” in preparation.

  6. Kari Scare says:

    One of the reasons I write is to document my spiritual journey in hopes that, if nothing else, my legacy involves never giving up, to always keep struggling toward the victory Christ has for us while we’re here on earth and when we get to Heaven. Ever read the book The Last Lecture? Gets at exactly what you’re saying here about leaving a legacy. Quick read & worth the time.

    • cycleguy says:

      I have never read that book. Is that the one by Randy (I can’t remember his last name)? Parschal comes to mind. No I have not read it but will look for it at the local library.

      • Kari Scare says:

        Randy Pausch is the author. My 15-year-old read it, and I plan to have my youngest read/listen to it at some point too. My husband even read it, which says a lot. If we lived close by, I’d loan mine to you 🙂

        • cycleguy says:

          I was close! had the first name right. lol. I would love to borrow it, but will check out the library. I think you are kind of far away. 😉

  7. cycleguy says:

    From Tom Raines: Great reminder and challenge Bill. Thank you!

  8. floyd says:

    That will make a hard person soft. My heart breaks for that family, but I’m amazed at the grace of God in that young man’s testimony facing death. God will use that to change the heart of others for sure.

    I have no video. I’m trying to write the chapters of my life so that they will be His story… not mine… Those are the best kind of stories, the ones with the happiest of endings.

    • cycleguy says:

      I admit to some moisture Floyd. And it wasn’t from the humidity or snow. I don’t have a video either but hope my writing and life will leave something unforgettable behind.

  9. Betty Draper says:

    Collecting my thoughts from that powerful witness for the grace of God. Watching it made me thankful for the ability we have in this age to make videos…

    As I listen these thought came to me. This man of God answers the question, what does it look like to die gracefully. Giving praise and thanks to the one who can fill us with amazing grace as we face fears.

    Last night in our bible study we study what it looks like to live beyond fear. How do we step across the line of fear that forms in our mind and can keep us bound up and not living life to its fullest. God blesses His grace in us when we take courage by the hand and step out in faith in Him. I would have to quote the whole Bible on this subject because it is a story of God who so loved the world He sent His only Son to die for us, so that we might have eternal life and if given time, die gracefully. I use to worry about “how” I would die since I am afraid dying might come through fire. Somewhere in my walk with Him, even that fear left me because if I can trust Him with my eternal life I can surely leave the “how” to Him too. I have seen enough death to know there is a different between sweet grieving and sour grieving. This man of God has chosen to live his remaining days in a state of sweetness in the midst of his pain and leave a sweetness for those left. Always thinking of others, how God like that is.

    Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, once was blind but now I see. God surely guided your fingers as you type this one.

    • Betty Draper says:

      Opps, did not answer your questions. I like many are leaving written word. And yes I do know someone who has. Prepared I am…all who know me know I am a believer in my eternal destiny.

      • cycleguy says:

        I deeply appreciated your words Betty. I want to die well, even though at my age the prospect is getting closer and closer.

        The young man sure did show grace. That is why I had to post it.

  10. Wow. What a video. The evidence and power of grace blows me away. Thanks Bill.

  11. My grandmother recently passed, and I think she died well. It was a few weeks in the hospital – although they were particularly peaceful. (Kidney failure is apparently a peaceful way to die.) It was long enough that everyone got to say their good-byes and being processing her death, but short enough that she really didn’t suffer.