How often do we spend time curiously pondering the mysterious yet noticeably wise presence of death in our everyday lives?
At birth, life was celebrated with much anticipation, hopes and expectations.
Our early years were spent learning how how to survive.
Much of our adult years are spent trying to thrive.
But death looms, dangerously lurking like a shadow in the dark, threatening the very nature of our unstable physical existence.
Ignorance is bliss so better to ignore that which cannot be seen, yes? Until our first experience of losing a loved one to death.
Sometimes it comes out of nowhere, like a bolt of lightning. Other times we can sense its energy through a prolonged sickness or old age.
But in every loss experienced, there seems to be:
- an undeniable effect on the trajectory of our understanding of life
- the crumbling of our mental and spiritual structures
- intense emotional roller coaster rides, and;
- an inevitable blooming of the essence of loss, that now colours all our experiences.
Losing a loved one to death is one of the greatest forms of loss you will experience in your physical life. None of us is spared from this.
And we still find ourselves choosing to deny and/or suppress the fear, willing it to disappear.
We have created a society conducive to support denial, having imaginatively engineered ways to provide comfort, safety and security from ever having to experience the pain (say hello to alcohol, drugs, pornography, television, food etc.).
So, why do we grieve? Why deal with the emotional ache? Why does mortality make us pause from the highs of living?
I realise that there may never be a finite explanation of the mystical nature of this energetic pulse. However, there is a theme within which lies the wisdom that is yearning to be accessed.
Three reasons why the death of a loved one is the most crucial life transition.
1. GETTING INTIMATE WITH SUFFERING
In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl writes ‘If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.’
In order for our hearts to fully experience unconditional love, it requires a seed from which to blossom.
And that seed is the pain in our suffering.
When we show reverence to this pain in our suffering, we build a deep connection to all aspects of our existence. Thereby birthing a form of courage and intimacy that enables us to graciously meet all aspects of the same pain, in another.
How delicious it feels in my heart to even write of this intimacy within oneself and the other.
Now, imagine experiencing it.
2. NURTURING A NEW RELATIONSHIP
Life and death are two sides of the same coin. One does not exist without the other.
A confronting statement to make, but unless we begin to nurture our relationship with death, all the successes we have so rightly earned and continue to work towards will only account for 50% of the fullness we will ever experience.
To access the wisdom in loss, we need to first acknowledge its presence.
- With each exhale we can consciously practice learning to let go and let be
- All suffering acts as a reminder of our natural evolution through the different stages of life to meet death, when it is time, with utmost humility
- Surrender to the need for black and white ways of viewing life
- Observe, with tender care, ways in which we exhibit control avoid feeling pain and lean into it, if only for a second, with faith. In these little moments lie the greatest release from the pain in our suffering.
3. SENSING ENERGETIC PRESENCE
That ever-present sixth sense/intuition is believed to be a gift from above for ‘some people’. ‘some’ – perhaps because science is yet to find a way to prove the nature of intuition?
Whatever the reason, grieving the death of a loved one is a sure-fire way of getting us to get in touch with our sensitivity and build a deep connection with our intuitive abilities.
We do not need science to validate our grief and how that moves through us.
Grief shoves us into the deep end when we least expect it, like a loving parent demonstrating tough-love.
Why? Because if we had it our way of cushy comfort, we would never step out of our safety bubble of selfishly celebrating life and ignoring the inevitable, yet transformational presence of death.
Intuition will always form the basis for everything that we will ever experience.
When we begin to honour this core part within us, the world opens up to the magic that it has always held, in the way that is meant for each of us.
My wish for you
May you remain open to all of suffering, with complete faith and remember that the pain you experience is that of your heart cracking open to experience love, in its purest form.