Death: A Moment of Beauty

A year ago today, my family and I and a couple friends hiked Rainie Falls. Among those friends was a young man named Josh. None of us knew that May 5 was his last day on this earth. 

After Josh fell into that river, myself and many others felt a sense of an ending. A death, a hole, a sudden jolting stop. But for Josh, that fall was a beginning. A glorious beginning.

I don't want to think of it as the day he died. I want to think of May 5 as the day he finally became alive. That is why I wrote this. It is written from Josh's perspective -- a guess as to what it might have been like to die.


It all begins with the calming.

My adrenaline, my fear – all of the sensations that seemed so real when I fell into this river – fade away. Everything settles into a strange, quiet serenity. Almost as if time itself has ceased.
Until now I was praying half-consciously, but now I send intentional words into the silence: Lord, what is happening?

Understanding comes as peacefully as the stillness around me.

This is my last moment on earth.

I feel subdued, contented. I never knew it would be so peaceful to die.

The calm is broken by sudden elation. I am going to Heaven – I'm going to Jesus! The next moment my joy is jolted by panic. A thousand thoughts tumble through my mind – all of the things I haven't done, the things I haven't said... Wait – Lord – what about –

Come to me, my son.

Thrill pulsates through me. Did I just hear the voice of God? Did my King speak to me?

Without warning the faces of my parents flash in front of me. Wait! I want to hold on; I start reaching out, grasping for the familiarity of earth's consciousness. But Lord …

Joshua. Come home.

I let go.

Reality morphs. In a electrifying and indescribably beautiful moment, I die.

Light explodes in my mind. I shudder with joy as it flows through my veins, glowing, pulsing – my new heartbeat, my new pulse.

At the same time, I am aware of a deeply curious sensation. I am being lifted up…  out... out of the only reality I know. It's like I'm being turned inside out. Something is slipping off of me, as if an old, heavy, tattered coat that I never knew I was wearing. As the strangling burden releases me I realize what it is.

My sin.

Every struggle, every temptation, every misery over that old nature that continually tormented me – gone. Oh, Jesus, I will never sin again! God, thank you!

Freedom eclipses me. Freedom – so raw and intense I wonder that I can contain it. It is radiating out of me. Light is emanating from me, but not my own light. I know that. I am reflecting the Light of the Son of God.

Time doesn't matter anymore. Only one thing matters.

My entire being pours itself out in praise to my King. I can't bear to keep in such all-consuming joy. Most glorious of all, there is no struggle to find a way to convey my gratitude. It flows straight from my heart without pause, a stream of passionate adoration.

I am swept up in unspeakable ecstasy, with the knowledge I will be worshiping my God like this for an eternity to come.

Praise the Lord! It is finished. My soul has reached it's ultimate redemption. I am home.

I, Joshua Steven Eddy, died.

And now I am finally alive.



  1. :') Thank you, Ariel. That was beautiful.

  2. Wow, I don't even know any of the story, but those words you wrote were powerful. Thank you for writing that and sharing it!


    1. Clareesa - thank you. Love you! :')

      Melody - thank you for the comment! I absolutely love it when "strangers" are blessed by something I write. =) For my side of the story, just go back to last May and start there... actually no, start with "Rose Colored Glasses" in April. Josh (the Josh in this story) commented on that one, a nice big comment. :D Anyway. I would say more but the blog posts between then and now speak a story for themselves...

  3. Ariel, this is so so beautiful. Thank you so much for writing it. I love you. <3

  4. This makes me cry every time I hear/read it. So powerful. So beautiful.

    Love you, Ariel.

  5. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I didn't know Joshua, but my family knows a lot of people who did, and we grieved with them when we heard of his passing (from death to life) last year.
    I found your blog through my friend Kaitlan's blogpost: http://iamjustadaydreamer.blogspot.com/2013/04/to-live-well-to-die-well.html
    Over in Josh's blog, I found your comment linking to this post: http://justanotherrebornhuman.blogspot.com/2012/05/josh.html
    I'm assuming you're the same Ariel who wrote the song Kaitlan linked (which I'm going to buy after I post this comment). Thank you for faithfully stewarding the songwriting gift God gave you, and recording the song, and offering it for sale so it can bless others. It is really beautiful, and encouraging and inspiring, and focuses on God in the midst of intense suffering.
    May God richly bless you as you glorify Him in the valley of your grief. I look forward to meeting you sometime, and reading your blog in the meanwhile.
    Ellen Davis
    Hillsboro Hofcc

    1. Ellen,
      I am so very blessed by your comment. Thank you for taking time to write to me. Yes, I wrote/recorded that song. It was such a blessing to be able to DO something for Josh (even though in reality it is really for his family/friends, not for him).
      Again, thank you. I am risen out of the valley, at least mostly, though I will never ever forget what it was like, the lessons I learned there, or Josh. They've all shaped me immensely. But praise God that I am once again "in the land of the living" (Psalm 116).
      I hope we can meet - perhaps at the Celebration Sunday in September? I'll be on the worship team most likely. =)