“Seeing into darkness is clarity.
Knowing how to yield is strength.
Use your own light and return to the source of that light.
This is called practicing eternity.”
— Lao Tzu
I have known for some weeks that I have felt inspired to write about death, a topic most of us, including me, have been socially conditioned not to talk about. I have known seven people who have died in the last year and a half and it has caused me to contemplate the value of life, and my own demise. I fully realize I am closer to getting off the planet than I am to entering it. I will be 80 next month.
I have had the opportunity to be with those who are dying and it has been a privilege as well as a sadness to lose those I have so loved, one of them being my only sister. I have discovered that when I am afraid of something (like death), I need to come as close to it as I comfortably can, and just sit with it. I benefit from paying attention to my reactivity and resistance, seeing where my boundaries and limitations are, noting the quality of my fear, and eventually seeing it all as a process that comes from my own identification and conditioning, as well as a natural processes, and part of life as we understand it.
My losses of family and friends have been natural, inevitable, and sad, experiences. I can also say that being with the dying has been very tender, rich, and rewarding for my heart and soul. I hope I have grown more compassionate as a result. I am grateful for those who have passed through my life and those who still remain as my teachers.
I know that there will be other loving human beings who have significance to, and for, me because I realize we are all in this together, parallel souls on a parallel journey of finding the meaning of our own lives and eventually releasing that meaning in order to surrender to the One Eternal Life, which I now experience and will continue to experience. From my soul’s point of view, I have discovered in accepting death, I have been blessed and will continue to be blessed by the mystery of life and death, all part of the same magnificent continuing gift.