LIFE IS NOT SEPARATE FROM DEATH. IT ONLY LOOKS THAT WAY. The Blackfoot are the source of this Native American wisdom. They appear to me to be saying that death, rather than separating us from life, is just a name for the next turn in life’s road.
George MacDonald offers something slightly different, connecting us to the Father and “the upper regions” by “gently ascending stairs” (Discovering the Character 107). … CS Lewis gave us a more contemporary metaphor, one that uses linear dimensions. He then described a one-dimensional straight line that becomes one of four lines in a two-dimensional square and then part of the six squares that make up the faces of a three-dimensional cube. And yet, that first straight line is never lost even when it becomes integral to something much greater. As Lewis explained: “In other words, as you advance to more real and more complicated levels, you do not leave behind you the things you found on the simpler levels: you still have them, but combined in new ways—in ways you could not imagine if you knew only the simpler levels” (Mere Christianity 126).
For me, a helpful and comforting image of this is a continuum, where each stage or step builds on what has gone before to arrive at what comes next. So the individuality that God gave us at the breath of creation is ever growing and continuing. Death doesn’t separate us from who we are. It only looks like it does. (From Turning Aside to See, chapter 43, ©️ 2011)