I loved reading the tributes to Neil Armstrong that rolled around Twitter, Facebook, blogs and websites. Although, some of the American press almost over looked his death. Well he died on a Saturday you see… and towards the end of the summer when some newsrooms are scantily staffed. (huh?)
NBC are being particularly mocked online for reporting that ‘Astronaut Neil Young’ had died! (huh?) You don’t need me to provide you with link! Just google it and choose your own!
As much as it feels wrong that the story wasn’t covered very well, maybe it’s fitting that he had a quiet exit. For a man at the centre of world changing events, Neil Armstrong seemed to live a very normal life after walking on the moon. There isn’t a raft of TV interviews that we can search youtube for. There are a lot of books about him but it’s said he only wrote one himself. By all accounts, he was a quiet unassuming man who went back to his home state to teach Aerospace Engineering. Never really got involved in politics and as far as my research can tell me – he never did an advertisement for anything!
But the most interesting thing to me was the well wishers who bade him farewell as he left our atmosphere and went back to the stratosphere that not only defined him, but which he defined. It was actually very emotional to read some of the Tweets. Retweeted again and again, coming from all over the world. Wishing him well on his way…
Death is a (not so) funny thing though isn’t it?! It is one of the few things, maybe the only thing that we can guarantee EVERY SINGLE PERSON will experience – yet we’re almost always surprised to find someone has died. The reaction to death and opinion of its outcome varies across the world, across religions & philosophies and across time. But more often than not – we’re not prepared for it.
I’m not usually a blogger of dismal subjects. But you must remember that for me – though I do cry when someone dies, it is not a ‘dismal’ subject for me. There is an eternity to be enjoyed which, when this rubbish body of mine eventually gives up on me, I look forward to.
My father-in-law had an amazing attitude to death. When he was ill he believed that if he got well again – GREAT, but if he didn’t – he’d get to be with Jesus so… GREAT. For him it was a win – win situation. Basically saying what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
I’d be lying if I said that I totally have my head around that one. But I am confident that beyond space, beyond the moon and beyond the space beyond the moon… there is an eternity and a heavenly home for me! My departure from the earth will make no headlines (unless I die in some freak spandex accident or am eaten by a mongoose…) Maybe one or two of my Tweeps might say something nice about me. And sure there might even be a nice little obituary to me in the local paper. Something like… “She ate a lot of chocolate but it was people like her who kept Cadbury’s open and contributed to the recovery of Ireland’s economy and the return of the ‘boom’!” As you can see I’m not expecting to go for a while yet! 🙂
But… whether my exit makes a splash or not, my entrance into the next world with be a party. A big party! And you’re invited by the way!
Think about it!