When dying becomes a gift
Sadness sears my soul today,
Words will not come for tears,
Greyness shadows healing light,
Lost in a darkness I fear to name.
Death must come and come it will,
Loss and grief the price we pay
For the giving of our hearts.
I look at you and I see our parting.
I look at you and sense your absence.
I look at you and I am lost,
This afternoon my father came to me and we spoke of his death. We were
not being morbid. He has had three strokes in the last two years and fought back courageously from them like the strong exceptional
man that he is. However, at the age of 81 with vascular damage to the brain and a series of epileptic fits caused by the strokes,
we are all aware of time plotting against us. Better to speak of such things now than regret the silence when there is no
more time together.
We spoke of practical strategies for helping my mother through her
bereavement and I gave him reassurance of my willing commitment to care for her as and when the time came for this to be necessary.
We spoke quietly and calmly as though discussing business, something we have done together for as far back as I can remember.
We could feel the deep emotion underlying our pragmatism but we knew that this was not the time.
We have expressed our love for one another every day and we have made
our farewell in preparation for what may come so suddenly that there will be no time to say the words. There is a greater
tenderness between us although we have always been close.
It is a bitter sweet time of our lives, but one that I am profoundly
grateful for. I have been given the time to be at peace with my father, to truly express in word and action, just how much
I love him. I count this as a blessing. In my heart I know that this is part of the cycle of birth and rebirth , that for
me there is no death, just a temporary parting of the ways.
It will not diminish my sorrow nor will it shorten my grief, but it
will make some sense of it and it will be more bearable. When we talk about his dying and his death we claim this as part
of the natural process of life, bringing light into what would otherwise be darkness. It strengthens and prepares us for this
None of us is given the knowledge of when we will pass from this life.
What we do know is that parting from those we love is inevitable. From the moment we give our hearts, we contract to face
this moment, whether it be in our passing or in theirs. We can chose to face this openly and honestly or we can hide away
from it and deny ourselves the gifts that it brings?
Death becomes the great taboo subject that we cannot and will not talk
about. In doing this we deny ourselves the grace of living fully in the light and we deny ourselves the peace of a parting
that has been prepared for.
Life is a wondrous glorious gift, to be lived to the heights and depths
of our beings. Death is the shadow that illuminates the light of this gift, giving it intensity and meaning. It helps to focus
us on showing our love instead of simply feeling it. What was hidden is stripped away and revealed.
All that we have avoided facing and dealing with in our lives comes
bubbling up in the journey of bereavement. Knowing that we will die, that our loved ones will die, gives us the gift of reconciliation.
Guilt is a destructive and useless emotion if it grips us in its strangle hold when it is too late to say "I am sorry", or
to ask a question that torments us, or to say "I love you" or "I forgive you".
So my dear friends, I ask you to look at death with new eyes. Take
the opportunity to use its gifts.
Show someone you love them by your words and action. Don't just assume
that they know how much they are loved. Tell them and show them.
Ask the questions that you need the answers to. It may not be what
you want to hear but at least you will know and the dialogue once opened may lead you to riches far greater than you could
ever have anticipated.
Should you have been the occasion of harm to another and you have not
made your peace, now is the time to let go of pride and fear, to reach out and say from your heart "I am sorry for my part
in this; forgive me.". You will not always be forgiven but you have made the first step by releasing your own guilt.
Should you have been wronged then find the healing that comes with
forgiving. I know how very hard this is when the hurt goes deep and the words just will not come. Take a moment to send love
and healing to yourself and the one who hurt you. Let go of the anger from your heart and simply allow the sadness to seep
away into mother earth. There are things that happen in this world that I find hard to forgive but the sending of a prayer
for the soul of the one who caused the pain is a starting point to releasing an emotion that damages you far more than the
perpetrator of your wound.
So do not dwell on death but bring its gifts into your vibrantly fully
lived lives. Take the time to learn its lessons and reach out it love to yourself and to those around you. Live the life you
were born to live while there is time.
Love to very core of your being and pour it out to the world
in all that you do and say and think.
Hug harder, kiss more passionately, speak words of love more
A passionate life of wonderful fulfillment is the gift of death
if only we will embrace it .
Some thoughts to ponder
"Death. The certain prospect of death could sweeten every life with
a precious and fragrant drop of levity- and now you strange apothecary souls have turned it into an ill-tasting drop of poison
that makes the whole of life repulsive." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
"Rehearse death. To say this is to tell a person to rehearse his freedom.
A person who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave."~ Seneca
"It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited
time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest,
as if it was the only one we had.
Death is simply a shedding of the physical body like the butterfly
shedding its cocoon. It is a transition to a higher state of consciousness where you continue to perceive, to understand,
to laugh, and to be able to grow.
For those who seek to understand it, death is a highly creative force.
The highest spiritual values of life can originate from the thought and study of death.
I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have
to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and
shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."