Eric Morecambe, a famous English television personality and comedian died on May 28, 1984, of a heart attack. His death occurred just hours after he had told an audience at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, how grateful he was for a new lease of life.
For years Eric Morecambe had been haunted by heart disease.
This had led him to ease the punishing workload which had previously threatened his health. His daughter, Gail, said after his death: “Dad had made every effort to look after himself, and had vowed to take it easier. He told me he planned to enjoy all the things he worked for and spend more time with his family. We have been created.” (The Times, London, May 29, 1984).
People think that they are being “cheated” by death, but in fact, death is the ultimate and most inevitable certainty of our lives. Death cheats no one. It is a man who cheats himself: the plans that he should be making for the world after death he makes for this life, only to find that death awaits him, to put paid to all his dreams.
If man were to set his sights on the next, eternal world, he would find there the fulfillment of his heart’s desires; but instead, he aims for fulfillment in this world, where true fulfillment is almost impossible to achieve, and even if it is achieved, it can only be for a very short time. If he were to seek reward for his work with God, then God would never let his efforts go to waste; but instead, he seeks reward on earth where the reward is scant and, once given, is sure to be taken away again.
Man sees only the world. Death is to him, then, a blow, removing him from the land of his dreams. But if he were to see the world beyond death, he would realize that it is that eternal world of infinite blessings that should be worked for.
What “new lease of life” can there be when the specter of death lies in wait? Those who seek ‘new life’ will find it only in the world that lies beyond death.