That's what happens to humans.
Elijah's departure, described in 2 Kings 2:8-11, was a special case. So is Mary, and I talked about that yesterday. (November 1, 2014)
How we deal with awareness of life and death depends on culture and an individual's unique experiences and personality.
By the way — my diabetes, hypertension, and assorted other health issues, are pretty much under control: so my death is probably years, maybe decades, away. The clock's ticking, though.
"Memento mori" — Latin for 'remember your death,' more or less — makes sense: if done with common sense. Recognition of impending doom can have a wonderfully focusing effect. (May 20, 2011)
However, I don't have a skull mounted on my desk: reminding me that my days are numbered. For one thing, I don't think that'd be consistent with respect for the dead. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2299-2300)
There's some wisdom in "carpe diem," too. The phrase, from a Latin poet's "Odes," isn't the oldest suggestion that enjoying the 'now' makes sense. The idea goes back at least as far as the "Epic of Gilgamesh" and Ecclesiastes 2:24.
The options aren't limited to morbid fascination with death or fleeing this fact of life by focusing on immediate pleasures.
God made and is making a good and beautiful world. (Genesis 1:1-2:9; Catechism, 31-32)
There is no problem with pleasure, enjoyed in moderation:
"3 There is nothing better for man than to eat and drink and provide himself with good things by his labors. Even this, I realized, is from the hand of God.Human nature being what it is, I'd better add this footnote:
"For who can eat or drink apart from him? "
" Unrestrained indulgence is not advocated here, but legitimate pleasure and the cheerfulness it begets."
(Footnote 3, Eccelsiastes 2, New American Bible (November 11, 2002)
I will live forever.
That's good news or bad news, depending on what I do with the package I've been issued. I've discussed faith, works, and James 2:17-26 before. (October 5, 2011; August 27, 2011)
Right after I die, there's a final performance review: my particular judgment. (Catechism, 1021-1022)
I'm not looking forward to that, but it's unavoidable.
After the particular judgment, there's Heaven: or Hell. Purgatory is not a 'get out of Hell free' card. It's more like an ICU or emergency room for souls, and that's another topic. (Catechism, 1023-1037)
Bottom line, we get one life, one soul, and one chance at eternity. Hope is a virtue, despair is not an option, and hope lasts as long as we live. (Catechism, 366, 988-1014, 1021-1022, 1501, 1817-1821, 2091)
After that, there's this creation's closing ceremony — the Last Judgment — and we see what's next.
There's been a great deal of speculation about what Creation 2.0 will be like: some of it informed; some not so much.
I've indulged in that sort of guesswork: but I think this pretty well sums up what we know:
"I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people 4 and God himself will always be with them (as their God).I'll see you there: I hope.
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away.' "
More of my take on long-term planning: