Death is not a comfortable topic to consider. However, avoiding the topic does not change reality – death comes to us all.
Coming to terms with death does not have to be entirely morbid or depressing. In fact, the knowledge of death can actually help us to live well.
Knowing death is inevitable puts things into perspective. It changes how we live. Am I doing work that matters? Am I investing in love which will last even beyond the grave?
Death reminds us not to waste our time or take our relationships for granted.
Whenever death does come, in its many, many forms, we must mourn and grieve in order to come to terms with it.
When we don’t honor our grief, aggression, addictions, and apathy are more likely to get the best of us.
Rituals help us to grieve well. Engaging in some intentional action to mark our experience of loss allows us to move toward acceptance.
Certainly, our grief should not be rushed, but the time to mourn does not last forever.
There comes a time to move on. However, moving on is not “getting over it.” I am not sure we ever get over our losses. Years from now the loss still matters.
But as we move toward accepting the loss, and integrating it into our story, we can find deep healing. Grieving well allows us to heal.
And as we heal, we are free to reenter the rest of life – to leave the graveyard and reconnect with the land of the living.
Coming to terms with death allows us to live with a sober joy – fully aware of the reality of death, but not letting death rob us of the beauty and goodness in life.
We can mourn when death pays us a visit. And still rejoice in the fullness of life available in each moment.
The reality of death is a great teacher. It reminds us to live passionately today.