We think of death as failure. Of our body failing us, and us failing those closest to us. We are wrong.
Dying is the culmination of our life’s work. It is the singular event we have all been moving inexorably towards from the moment of conception. “Pray for us,” Catholics implore Mary, “now and at the hour of our death”—because ‘now’ and ‘the hour of our death’ are the only moments given us, the only moments that matter. And each ‘now’ is preparation for ‘the hour of our death’.
The answer to the question, “What am I for?” is to prepare for a good death. To discover that I am unnecessary—the world was doing just fine before I came along and will manage perfectly well without me when I am gone. And to believe that I am loved—and that, held by love, my life, however short or long, makes all the difference in the world.