Lately, I have been consciously feeling that, in this society of ours, we never seem to give much acceptance (or deep thought) of death with the same vigor we do for living. We kick, claw and scream in attempts to avoid going to the great unknown. While it brings much sadness and fear in our culture, I think that it also could bring some reverence for living your life and then moving on the next phase. We, as mortal beings, need to find a way, our own individual way, to be at peace with the idea of death with the full support of our society and culture at large. Avoidance of the inevitable seems like a big loss and opportunity to engage in a dialogue of how we can embrace this simple fact of life (and ultimately support more fully engaged living).
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (as one example), while we may be leaving the physical body on this planet, our soul is moving back into the eternal, divine energy that is our birthright. We are, in essence, becoming whole again. Our divine spirits return to the great cosmic energy, while our earthly spirit moves back into the planet to support its life-force.
It would appear that by holding back through worry, fear or anger, we are losing out on the beauty of this transition like the many who spend their last days holding onto old ways, which have locked them into stuck patterns during in their lifetime. Some also deal with regrets on the coulda, shoulda, woulda merry-go-round. It feels that if our culture supported this transition in an upfront holistic and completely aware way, we could end so much suffering at the end of life. We could celebrate the soul that lived among us much like we celebrate a birth arriving anew. That is not to say that grief or sadness have no part in this equation. They definitely do. It just seems to be the only "acceptable" way to be with death. We all need to inhale AND exhale to live fully so why don't we embrace both life and death.
As I write this, I am reflecting on a client of mine who is strongly contemplating whether to use medical assistance in dying (MAID). She decided to have a "transition" party to celebrate the people in her life that loved her (and also those that challenged her). She wants to die on her terms and move beyond the pain body that has overwhelmed her days. I believe that we all get a gift from her with the way she has chosen to embrace this time as a moment of peace in the storm....a chance to celebrate love, joy, compassion, integrity with lots and lots of faith. I will miss her and I know that she will become an energy being of love and light in the world. Nothing can be better than that!
What are your thoughts about how we could approach death (and life) in our culture? Feel free to add your thoughts below.
Blessings and much love,