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On Living and Dying

Friday, March 22, 2013

from Anne of the Island (by Lucy Maud Montgomery)

[Anne's friend Ruby is dying of "consumption" and talking to Anne] "I'm so young, Anne. I haven't had my life. I've fought so hard to live - and it isn't any use - I have to die - and leave EVERYTHING I care for." Anne sat in a pain that was almost intolerable. She could not tell comfortable falsehoods; and all that Ruby said was so horribly true. She WAS leaving everything she cared for. She had LAID UP HER TREASURES ON EARTH ONLY; SHE HAD LIVED SOLELY FOR THE LITTLE THINGS OF LIFE - THE THINGS THAT MAY PASS - FORGETTING THE GREAT THINGS THAT GO ONWARD TO ETERNITY [emphasis mine], bridging the gulf between the two lives and making of death a mere passing from one dwelling to the other - from twilight to unclouded day. God would take care of her there - Anne believed - she would learn - but now it was no wonder her soul clung in blind helplessness to the only things she knew and loved......Anne walked home very slowly in the moonlight. The evening had changed something for her. LIFE HELD A DIFFERENT MEANING, A DEEPER PURPOSE.[emphasis mine] On the surface it would go on just the same, but the deeps had been stirred. It must not be with her as with poor butterfly Ruby. When she came to the end of the one life, it must not be to face the next with the shrinking terror of something wholly different - something for which accustomed thought and ideal and aspiration had unfitted her. The little things of life, sweet and excellent in their place, must not be sought and followed; THE LIFE OF HEAVEN MUST BE BEGUN HERE ON EARTH [emphasis mine].

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