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The Blissful Side of Death

The most visceral fear we carry within us is the fear of death, so most of us rarely – if at all – spend time contemplating it. This week, I’ve received two invitations to sit with death: one by sending loving thoughts to my elderly friend Rhea whose joyful soul is making her transition, the other by having been in an accident myself – and if it weren’t for the fierce response from a loving stranger, I might not have been here to write you this letter today.

Death teaches us lessons that can be profound and sacred. A simple walk in a forest shows us how a fallen tree becomes the fertile home for moss, mushrooms, and colonies of insects – and highlights the role that death plays in the health of the ecosystem. And for us humans, it also plays a critical role in our psyche. For one thing, realizing the fragility of our short lives invites us to open our hearts to what is most precious and wondrous to our spirit. With our hearts cracked open, that soft green moss on the fallen trunk looks magical, the touch of a newborn baby feels sublime, the voice of a caring friend resonates like a love song, and the touch of our own skin awakens a sense of gratitude for this body of ours that is the temple of our soul.

Just like nature, this incredible system that carries our spirit works in such brilliant ways that it stills puzzles the most knowledgeable of healers. This body has us experience an explosion of events, sensations, and emotions that we often take for granted, and yet, if fully embraced, it brings the essence of our soul’s yearning to know itself and in relationship to other “beings” – human and beyond.

I encourage you not to wait for a close encounter with death to contemplate the preciousness and vulnerability of your earth bound existence. This contemplation has brought me to a state of profound gratitude for all that I am, the amazing people in my life and this wondrous world that reveals itself to me even just by looking outside my window.

May you too kiss the bliss of life and let your heart’s intelligence lead your way through your ephemeral and beautiful lifetime.

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