TYW: Lessons in Death
Desiderata. Thks Colin!
Through tragedy I have learned about life. I feel balanced. I feel like I understand. I can see the balance. I can see its beauty. I feel comfortable with never knowing the things that most of us burn to know. I understand the reason to lay the tormenting questions of why to rest. In a lot of ways, I have been set free. It is the biggest bittersweetness that I have ever known because all freedom has its price and this price was enormous. It was a price that I didn't get to chose against. On the other hand, i feel, not to embrace the gift that was given to me by this loss of life is dishonoring the death. I would like to think that there is consciousness of some form after death. These things might have been things that he wanted me to have or that he somehow willed to me. I would like to think that the nagging feeling you have to take a step forward is really a gift from your lost loved one telling you it is okay or telling you what they would like you to do. Honestly, I do not think of it in too much detail. While I follow my own beliefs and thoughts, I do come from a culture that embraces the spiritual realm and believes that the living can trap the souls of the dead thru prolonged grief by not allowing the spirit to move up and move on. I don't pretend to know the truth but I do know that by not letting go I trap myself and would not risk trapping anyone else, neither in spirit or in life. So I let go which seems to be my life's lesson.
Death is a natural part of life but that is not what we are taught. This experience has made me realize the importance of teaching our children about the balance of life. Death is nothing like life. Life is anticipated and celebrated. Mothers are given the opportunity to prepare for life thru pregnancy. It is something that may surprise some of us and not all of us are ready for it but we get to anticipate it. It is not something that everyone wants in their own life. It is something to strive for, something to chase. It is a goal, a benchmark, & an accomplishment. We celebrate new life, forgetting about the trials, the pain, the hardships, the dangers, and the loneliness that comes with life. For some people who despise life, the presence of new life provides inspiration for renewal. We welcome life. We change for life. There is usually no anticipation with death. The smaller percentage that are able to anticipate death are usually fighting for their life. The loss is not made easier for the families. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we are trained to avoid the topic of death. It is not something we are taught to accept at all. It is not something we prepare to go thru or prepare others to handle. We don't share the things that matter and we take life for granted. How unrealistic of us. Now having been forced to deal with the issue of death, my daughter and I talk about it openly and regularly. I am not teaching her to be morbid but we see death as an everyday part of life. I talk to her about how the emotions that come with grief and how we grieve as a tribute but are not supposed to live in grief for long. We use the unknown nature of life as a reason for focusing on the good and meaningful and not on the wasteful. I teach her that everything that lives must die and that is why we have to appreciate all the relationships we have while we have them and not take things for granted. I teach her that life is still very much worth it. I use nature, which is inundated with life and death as my teaching tool. It is a difficult thing to teach but I think healing is easier once we understands that death is natural. I think acceptance is easier when we know that our loved one lived well and did not fear death. I also believe that being able to see the big picture helps us to live better. I am hoping that the fruits of these lesson will make my daughters life easier. I see the small, meaningless stresses of life clearly as the leaches they are and they do not affect my daily life.
I was different and difficult to understand before and I know that with the increased understanding and clarity in my own life I have made myself even more difficult to understand, still I am able to balance the good and the bad. It is sometimes hard to think that my daughter will have to get used to being different since she is so much like me but if she does not conform she too will know peace in her life and at a younger age than I did. She will allow herself to rise and fall without judging herself so harshly. She will be able to hurt, react, and come back faithfully. She will not have to struggle with regrets. All because we were forced to learn about balance. Are there greater blessings?
One day my time will come. All things that live must die. I lived well and have been well loved. There is nothing to regret. When that day comes, I will give up my shell and move my spirit into my daughters heart. My hope for her is that she mourns well and lives well knowing that she brought me so much happiness and love and that she is loved with out limits.
Embrace life, the joys and the sorrows, the loves and the stories. Make it worth the ride.