Deathbed Confessions

Life, so I hear, is a sexually transmitted, terminal disease. Paradoxically, when life begins, so does the process of death. These are happy thoughts, yes? I apologize for that, but I’ve been pondering stewardship of time, and, truth is, you can’t get around the fact that your days on Earth are few.

This week, I read a former professor’s blog post about his cancer diagnosis and the inadequate questions that someone facing their mortality might ask, namely, “How could this happen?” and “Who said life is fair?” Both questions, ultimately, misrepresent the agent. Death is an “organic process,” Myers said. Our reaction to that process is what counts.

Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. – Psalm 39:4


We have all received a terminal diagnosis. We can mourn each and every setback, indulge in self-pity regularly as trials come. Or, we could revert to nihilism, in which blessings and curses are arbitrarily assigned.

Still, there is another choice left to us, we can choose to maximize our days.

While someone with cancer or lymphoma or AIDS might have a more precise indication of when their lives will end, we can all live like today might be our last, and make our last disclosure.

Here is my deathbed confession: I worried too much. I loved too little.  I spent too much time with my nose in a computer and not enough time holding someone’s hand. I was selfish and sometimes sullen and small-minded and seriously sycophantic when it suited.

What do you have to confess? What do you do to optimize your days?


37 responses to “Deathbed Confessions

  1. I was born with conginital heart desease. Most poeple with this don’t make past their teenage years or early 20’s.

    But I’m 28 years old and been happily married for 8 years with 2 kidos (whom doctors said my desease was genetic) But both kids are fine.

    Everyday is a gift. And undeserved gift at that. But the grace of God is unfathomable.

    Believe it or not. I think my bed side confession would be, I didn’t advance the kingdom more. (even though i’m a part of a lot of ministries) But i guess it just feels like things are not getting acomplished or people are not being changed…idk…YOU made me think to much today!!! lol…

    I liked it…

    • Every day is full of grace, and I’m so happy that you’ve defied, through faith, a poor prognosis.
      And I hear you on your confession. The point of ministry to to bring others (and ourselves) closer to God. I don’t always feel that I’m any closer when I finish a program and I want to correct that, earnestly seeking Him through my study, service and worship.

  2. WOW! This hit home today. I’m a procrastinator, and then expect sympathy. I constantly think the rules don’t apply to me (where do I get this). I don’t know how to time manage my life, in fact, everyone seems to be doing a better job. And today, I am indulging in self-pity. Want to come to my pity party?
    I need to get over it and optimize the rest of the day. Thanks, K.

    • I procrastinate a ton, too. I get jealous of those who have it all together and start to feel sorry for myself. Ugh. What a crock! I did it; I put it off; it’s only fair that I pay the consequences.

  3. Hmm…confession time, eh? Well, I guess I can be lazy or procrastinate far too much than I should, and I let fear rule my life too much. How’s that for confession? There are other things too, but we’ll just keep it to these two for now ;o).

  4. I confess that I choose complacency when action is required. Especially in my marriage. I expect a great marriage (any many would say it is a great marriage) but think it’s going to happen naturally. I guess I should repent and turn away from that.

  5. Ummm. Wasn’t ready for the counseling appointment, Herdy. Thanks for the heads up!

    I confess to trying to have it all figured out. His plan, his desires for me and my family. I confess to more talking than listening. I surrender those freakish control habits to our king.

    • sorry. I should have posted a disclaimer at the top.

      I put on the “I’ve got this” face when I’m drowning in doubt, because, I don’t want pity, but what it really keeps me from is getting help.

  6. I confess that I’m not always so chipper. I sometimes struggle with depression.

  7. I wasted years mourning the loss of a girl who was never right for me in the first place.

  8. I could confess to my incessant procrastination. I need to do a million things but I usually don’t get started until the last minute.

    I feel like I’m doing pretty well optimizing my days. I might be doing a little too much but I’m loving it. I feel like pretty soon, I’ll have an additional equation in the mix that takes away much of the things I have time for now. 🙂

    • I’m praying for all of that for you, Tony! I’m a last minute person, too, unfortunately. I used to call it “prioritizing,” but that was just a euphimism for goofing off until the due date

  9. I don’t always have it together. I pretend to sometimes, but God knows I’m a mess (whether I admit it or not).

  10. I am so busy working at projects that I sometimes forget to enjoy the enjoyable stuff.
    I miss opportunities to show love because I’m so wrapped up in my own meaning.
    I sometimes forget that God is with me, at every moment.

    To optimize my days, I try and stay mindful of how God is working, even though I have all my little projects. I’m busy, but I keep my ears open and my heart willing to stop everything at any moment if I feel God saying, hey, stop and do this other thing for however long it needs to be done.

    • I love what you said: I’m busy, but I keep my ears open and my heart willing to stop everything at any moment if I feel God saying, hey, stop and do this other thing for however long it needs to be done.

      I want to learn to do that. I am afraid that God has to whack me over the head to get my attention.

  11. Yeah, that death thing. Thanks for the reminder.

    I confess today, that I have also spent too much time in front of this glass screen and not enough time kissing, hugging, whispering passionate thoughts to my loved ones. I need to add more candlelight dinners, more roses and more back massages to my wife, more fake tattoos, farting contest with my children. More noogies and atomic wedgies to my close friends and more text messages and tweets that say I love you. Crap, you got me all emotional now. 😦

    • I’m just here to help. I should really stop being so preachy here at MessiahMom, eh?

      I’m with you, though, excluding the farting contests and wifey back massages.

  12. oh kristin. how well-timed this is.

    i’ve spent so much time working for a company that doesn’t love me back that i’ve missed too many precious moments with my family.

    and after reading your last paragraph, i’ve spent far too little time perfecting alliteration.

    beautiful, as always.

    • right now, I’m beating my head against the wall trying to decide what to send you for that company that doesn’t love you like you deserve to be loved.

      alliteration is to be used sparingly, I’ve found.

  13. Um. Could I just ditto yours?

    Cause I’m also lazy.

  14. I like how you get straight to the point here, though it sort of knocked my socks off. I think it’s because I have a lot to confess:
    I spent too much time trying to control; I blogged too much and didn’t look my kids in the eye enough when they were talking to me (even if they were telling me really long, really convoluted stories); I complained too much and was too crabby and expected that my husband would notice that the laundry needed to be folded too often. I didn’t trust God enough and wasn’t still enough and didn’t open my heart enough to love God.


    • I probably would have bored people to tears with all I have to confess. I can identify with your piling laundry and children half-heard and I have to admit that I haven’t let my heart go to God on too many occasions.

      Thanks, Michelle.

  15. I have thought about myself far too often.

  16. I’m always thinking about the longterm and not enjoying the now.

    Great post!

  17. Living in the here and now is a challenge. I often think of what I’ll be regretting on my death bed. Not that I should have kept my house cleaner, that’s for sure. Nose out of computer? Maybe. Though sometimes I think my blog is a way to ensure my kids can spend time with me after I die. That may be morbid and misguided, I realize.

    Nice post.

  18. I confess that I think too much about the things that didn’t go the way I planned and not enough time focusing on God’s plan for me!

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