The only certainty of life is death. And yet most of us continue living as if death will never visit us. We do not prepare ourselves for it and live as if we are going to live forever.

A little girl lay dying and she was afraid.

Her friend, the priest, came to see her and after a little talk she told him she was frightened. “Listen, my child,” he said, “supposing I said I wanted to take you in my arms and carry you upstairs to a beautiful room at the top of this house where you could see much farther from the windows and be more comfortable altogether, would you mind?”

“Why, no!” replied the child, “it would be the most wonderful thing to happen to me!”

“Well,” said the priest, “Dying is exactly like that, God who loves you more than I ever could when the time comes will take you in His arms and carry you into a beautiful room in the skies. So you see my child there is no need at all to be afraid, is there?”

And the child lay back on her pillows content.

How easy it is to prepare a child isn’t it? Yet like fatherhood or motherhood, death like I just said is something most of us are not prepared for:

There is the story of a king’s jester known quite commonly as The Fool, who sometimes made very wise utterances. One day, the jester said something so foolish that the King handing him his staff said to him, “Take this and keep this till you find a bigger fool than yourself!”

Many years later the King was very ill and lay on his deathbed. His courtiers were called; his family and servants also stood around his bedside as the king labored for breath.

Looking up and seeing everybody, the king spoke to them saying, “I am about to leave you and am going on a long journey and I shall not return again to this place so I have called you all to say goodbye!”

At that moment his jester stepped forward, “Your majesty,” he said, “may I ask a question? When you journeyed abroad visiting your people, staying with your nobles or paying diplomatic visits to other courts, you made great preparations months ahead on what you would say, what you would take along and the gifts you would carry!”

“Yes,” said the troubled King, “I did!”

“Your Majesty, may I ask what preparations you have made for this long journey you are about to undertake?”

“Alas!” sighed the King, “none!”

“Then, “said the jester, “take this staff with you, for now I have found a bigger fool than myself!”

Are you also a bigger fool than the wise fool?

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