By Karl Faase

Late PM David Lange : dying made my life

David Lange

When he was at the peak of his power as Prime Minister of New Zealand, David Lange was often depressed and drank too much. It was the long process of dying that straightened him out and, as he said, "made my life".

Lange said in an ABC documentary: "It's a funny thing when you think you're dead, you're not terrified of it anymore. There's a sort of epiphany ... It really does sound stupid, but I've got to tell you, it's made my life." Lange died in August 2005 after a three year struggle with a rare and incurable blood plasma disorder. Lange's experience is helpful for all of us.

We can live in fear of death and yet it's the reality of death that clarifies life. Questions like, what is really important, what should I do with my time and what should I do about faith in God, seem clearer when asked in the context of death rather than in the busyness of life. Being busy and successful may cloud our priorities, whereas the reality of death clarifies.

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