I love Downton Abbey. Really, really love it. I know I’m not alone, and I also know there were millions viewing last night’s first episode of Season 4 right along with me.

What I’m about to say does not require a spoiler alert, as it’s been in all the trailers for the season, so don’t worry if you haven’t yet fired up the DVR. I’ll be kind. However, for those who haven’t watched the series, and might like to, I’m going to be vague so as to not give a big twist in last season’s story line away.

Last night, there was a beautiful conversation between a grandmother and her granddaughter who was grief-stricken from a great loss. Buried for months by despair, the granddaughter was dangerously close to locking herself away there, and the grandmother knew it. She very lovingly said this:

“The fact is you have a straight-forward choice before you. You must choose either death or life.”

So simple. And yet, when you’re in the midst of a dark place, it seems anything but.

I started thinking about it, though, and really, we walk the edge of that dark pit every time we choose death over life. Negativity over positivity. Demeaning words over uplifting ones. Self-hatred over self-esteem, or worse, self-absorption over love for our fellow man.

Every single thing we do is a choice of death or life.

The granddaughter answered with:

And you think I should choose life?”

Her grandmother, of course, said yes, and I give it a resounding second. I may not live at the Abbey, but we grandmothers have to stick together.

And you should listen to us. Really. We should listen to ourselves.


Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT