The Vale Trilogy Part 3: The Vale of fears

- Joseph Uysetuan () - February 25, 2007 - 12:00am
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear not." Now, that's guts. I may fear no evil, but I don't think I will not fear death. I shudder at it inasmuch as you or anybody else does. But, alas, this is the valley - the vale of fears - where all of us must set foot in. ("The vale of years," I lampooned this to go with the other two). We arrive at this juncture after we descend into the vale of years (ripe old age), walk through the vale of tears (this troubled world).

Well, we are now in Part 3 of "The Vale Trilogy," the first two parts being the twin vales just mentioned above. Since serials, as in the movies, need a full grasp for better savvy, you can email me at gracelandprinters@yahoo.com for copies if you have missed the initial two.

It's death we are talking about. Sweet, pure, reliable death. Certainly, we will be encountering a lot of funny feelings here - horror, dread, grimness, nervousness, aversion, apprehension. The Bible says it is "the king of terror." No one will ever know the exact feelings of one who is at the precise last moments of his death. It is a terror undescribed. No traveler ever returns from that destination to tell. The deathbed address is one's last known address on earth as he sleeps the good night.

No one can out-maneuver wily death in sending us the creeps, the jitters, the pins and needles. Death is so appalling that at the mere thought of it, we quiver like a rabbit. We crack up to every phobia. It sends our nerves tingling. It makes our teeth chatter. Clearly, "the valley of the shadow of death" is the nucleus of all fears. If this is not scary enough, then we go challenge ourselves and take more doses of it. Hope it will not frighten the wits out of us.

I'm not here doing the grim ferryman task of seizing people for a boat ride to the other side. We have to face reality. Yes, it's always easier said than done. I am saying that I will be on that boat, too, rowed to journey's end. I have to take the ride. One has to do that death kneel before the Grim Reaper. One has to be at the mercy of Hell's Grim Tyrant. One has to bare his neck to the swing of the grim sickle. As we can see, all the personifications of grimness are already here.

Grim is a word of fear. So are - brace yourself - obituary, autopsy, postmortem, cremation, interment, swan song. Add to that images and symbols like coffin, cadaver, funeral parlor, cemetery, grave, tombstone, ash urn, white cross, skulls and crossbones. The list is long. I bet this will scare the pants off of anyone who is at death's door. He may not be able to make a death wish or draft a will.

Please allow me to share with you my own scare story. I am one who has been hit with three major sicknesses, twice of positive cancer and a rare malady, in 1983,1993, 2003. I have been to chemotherapy, to radiation, to surgeries and other treatments, including psychiatry. As my song of praise to God for keeping me around, I'm writing a book series, "Yet Not One Sparrow," an inspirational one. So far, three volumes, the third still available at present in all Bookbugs and Booksale outlets in the city.

Was I scared to death? Hell, I was! And still am! We are talking about going to die. When one is seriously ill-stricken, he will feel like "walking through the valley of the shadow of death." Little, insignificant things will balloon to catastrophic fright, morbidity, nervousness, and the like. He will shun the newspapers because of the obituaries there. He will avoid watching TV because of disturbing scenes. He will shy away from well-wishers because he wants to hole up by himself. Obviously, this is the fear factor playing up to him.

A tombstone bearing his name will image up. The birthday song will sound like his swan song. He will see his face inside a coffin. Nervousness will make him cower at the sight of a hospital. Depression will set in him, prompting trips to a psychiatrist. His broken spirit will prod him to contemplate suicide. These are all the products of the fear emotion.

Of course, he prays. I've been there. This is what happened to me. This is my story. They say death is good, kind and sweet. "The crown of life," "the gate of life," "that dreamless sleep," as the poets sung it. I would like to add this, "the fairy-tale sleep." Whatever, here's what we do. We die with a good image. We die with an identity. We die with a name - on His list.

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