So, the one thing we all have in common is that, at some point, we are going to die. Generally speaking, people don’t like to talk about death. Some even believe it is negative to do so, and attracts bad luck.
We don’t know for sure what actually happens to us when we die, and so we come up with a theory that suits our thinking. The most popular seems to be that we all end up on some kind of cosmic housing estate in the sky, with Auntie Alice and Uncle Bert next door, and Grandma Mary up the road. We spend eternity floating happily around, looking down on our still living friends and relatives, checking that they’re okay.
A lot of people worry about their deceased loved ones, needing to be reassured that they are happy and safe. Some feel guilty because they themselves are still alive, and their loved one is not. Some are angry because they feel abandoned by the one who passed. And there are those who feel bitter towards a God who took a person they love, whilst allowing bad people to still walk the earth. And of course, there are troubled folk who yearn for the escape that they believe death will bring, from unbearable life circumstances or debilitating depression. Some of them choose to take that leap from life…….most hang on in there, motivated by the faintest glimmer of hope that things will get better, will change for the good. And often they do, over time.
There are no two ways about it……the worst thing about death is deprivation. In human terms, it is an absolute bitch. Suddenly deprived of the physical presence of a loved one, their touch, their scent, their company, we feel cheated and helpless. Deprived of a familiar lifestyle, of a future we were planning, of things that could have been……we are left with a gaping hole in our life, a void that seems impossible to fill. And we wonder why the hell it HAS to be this way? Whose bright idea was it to create a system that is always going to end in tears? Why do we have to live with this ticking time – bomb always lurking in the background? Well, I don’t know for sure, but I have a few thoughts on the subject:
1) There would be no grief if love didn’t exist. The instant that we love someone, we are facing potential emotional pain and heartache……..because at any moment they could leave us or die. So, maybe love is the problem, not death (I say that with my tongue firmly in my cheek)! Most of us are never going to choose not to love anyone or any thing, to save ourselves from the potential pain of loss. The good news is that, like matter, love never dies, and it is never, ever wasted. Maybe we could defiantly choose to love in a major way…….ha, take THAT death! If we love life with every ounce of our being, and genuinely feel love for all kinds of people, even when the sadness of loss comes to call, we will have enough love in store to sustain us, and give us the strength to go on.
2) We could reassess our own personal beliefs about death. Maybe it is a subject we have avoided giving too much thought to, because we fear it…and the fear of it is the very reason we should reassess! If we see death as a punishment, or a dark and lonely place, we are going to worry hugely about our deceased loved ones, and we are going to feel terrified at the thought of our own passing. It has struck me that people’s beliefs about what happens after they die is unconsciously influenced by how they feel about life itself. So maybe we need to reassess what we believe to be true about life, before we assess what we believe to be true about death!
3) How we live may well shape how we experience the ‘after life’. My personal feeling is that, if a soul has dedicated passion, time, energy and hard work to creating a progressive, interesting life, regularly pushing itself beyond the boundaries of its comfort zone, should it just end up lumped in with everyone else….the plodders, the unambitious, the non – curious, those who always had ready a set of reasons to explain away their unhappy, restricted lot in life? I know that life does not always appear to be fair……but maybe (hopefully) death is more so! Or at least death is where we get to examine the quality and nature of the spirit we developed throughout our physical life…..the only thing I believe we take with us when we die. There is no judgement, I imagine……just a natural gravitation towards an experience that mirrors the soul we became, through the spirit we developed, whilst in our human state! And I am not talking about money or fame, though those things can be part of our bigger, final picture. I am talking about an expanded mind, about facing challenge bravely and with determination, about enthusiasm and curiosity, about ideas, and things to work towards…….about things to believe in and stand for. About celebration, appreciation, imagination and bravery. If we are going to put in the effort to grow and develop our life, rather than surviving it by sticking to the same old routine because we have to live in the ‘real world’, that attitude is surely going to travel with us into the adventure of death! I don’t see it as a reward……just a continuance!
4) It could be that the fear of death was written into the fabric of the human experience, in an attempt to push us to make use of every second, to waste no time…..to encourage us away from an attitude of inertia and apathy. But also, the fear of death leads certain individuals to live life absolutely on the edge. It isn’t that they have no fear of death…..they do, and the ‘cheating’ of it becomes the ultimate challenge. There IS no bigger challenge, than to deliberately stare death in the face, yelling “Come and get me…..IF you can!” and live to fight another day. In the end, they will tire of the desire to push the boundaries of life beyond breaking point, or death will win. But hey, what a competition!
5) There are, apparently, approximately 105 billion souls who have already passed through this dimension called life on earth. What we have, and how we live today, is largely down to them. Tomorrow is always built upon today. And their collective energy, their knowledge, is out there for us to tap into…….like a huge cosmic library. We can learn from them, from their failures and their victories. We can use our mind to connect with that store of knowledge and ideas, and we can remember that we too will be adding our own chapter to the collective story, one day. What if, to the keen mind, death is seen as a promotion…..the next part of the adventure, rather than the end of it? Wouldn’t that blow life wide open, causing us to dig deep into our own treasure trove of possibilities, hopes, dreams and desires…….the knowledge that EVERYTHING counts!#5THOUGHTSABOUTDEATH