Find out how to register, vote early, research a candidate and more in AARP's midterm election guide.
When the Reverend Forrest Church was diagnosed with incurable cancer in 2006, he vowed that "I want my acceptance of death to be an embrace."
Prologue | Acceptance | Appreciation | Time | Religion | Regret | Death | Epilogue
Acceptance, he added in his conversation with writer Carl Lehmann-Haupt, is not just for the person dying; rather, it is an act that friends and family usually grapple with as well. "When you get right down to it, my accepting and embracing my death is one thing. [My wife's] accepting and embracing my death is another. And ultimately she has to do that; that's part of her spiritual challenge. In some ways it's more difficult than my accepting and embracing my death."
Church tells us that once death is accepted, it can be a gift. "Many people who are dying have an opportunity—but sometimes don't have the imagination to seize. And that is to turn my life…into a prayer, to embrace life, to accept my past and just say 'yes' to it. Not to let the future haunt me, but to be in the moment, aware of the miracle, which is life itself, which would not exist if death was not one of its hinges."
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at