Sunday, January 18, 2015

Contemplating "The End"

Yesterday I got word of the death of a distant friend who had fallen seriously ill right after Christmas.  He was not a close friend, but someone I’ve known for a long time.  He was a good man, a loving husband, a great dad, an engaged grandpa.  I don’t think anyone could say an unkind word about him.  And he was only 64 years old.

Funny how I think of a 60-something as young, nowadays.  Partly because these are the people I grew up with, and we can’t possibly be “old.”  Partly because I myself, though every morning I creak out of bed and grope for my glasses before I can start my day,  don’t feel old and used up—which is exactly how  I used to view anyone over the age of 55.

Still, it is an inescapable fact that with every year that passes, more people in my age bracket come to the ends of their lives.  People die.  Beloved animal companions die.  It’s been a tough journey, and promises to only get tougher.  I can’t remember when I haven’t been scared shitless by the idea of dying.  At this point, as the inevitability of it becomes obvious,  what can you do but sidle up to the idea and try to live with it… rather than running away screaming at the mere thought?  It doesn’t do to foul up the days remaining in this body, on this planet, living in pathological fear of something I cannot change.  Something I was not meant to change.

My understanding of All There Is, and my personal practice of acknowledgment and relationship to It, has nudged me closer to making some sense of death.  It’s funny, when I was a Christian, and then an agnostic, I felt no relationship to loved ones who had crossed over.  I felt that they were just…gone.  If they were “somewhere,” it was off my radar, out of my reach.  I didn’t carry on conversations with them in my head…didn’t visit the cemetery and talk to their tombstones.  I just left them behind (or did they leave me behind?) and kept walking.

But now that I have a concept of the Spirit—the Universe, All There IS—I know that we are all part of that energy,  that force.   While we inhabit our human bodies, we are...contained, restricted, maybe a little a butterfly in a mason jar.  And when our bodies drop off, we are released.  We return to an unfettered communion with All There Is.  How we get there, and what happens next, I have no idea.  But I believe it is all part of the flow of creation. 

Every morning when I’m home, I go out to my “coffee deck” with my morning beverage.  I sit and listen, and come as close to self-examination and meditation as my always-frenetic brain ever gets.  Yesterday,  I sat and contemplated the unwelcome news of my friend’s death. I was thinking about how sad his family was, and how well I understood that comfort in such a loss is so hard to come by. 

But this thought came to me…and it brought ME comfort, at least.

His family has lost a husband, father, grandfather, friend…   But they have gained an intimate connection to the infinite.  The energy of their loved one—his “soul,” if you will—now dances among the constellations, soars to the Universe.  And yet, is connected to them still.  How can that be an entirely bad thing?

Of course, I would hardly walk up to a grieving family at a funeral and anoint them with this special secret as if I could dispel their sadness with a word.  But…I think this knowledge…attitude…belief…will certainly help me as I navigate the last decades of my own life, and the lives of those I love.  Heaven?  I don’t believe in it, in the sense that I will be seated at a banquet table with everyone I have ever known (those who were “good enough” to have made it, anyway.)  I believe there is a connection, to those who have gone before, and to those who are left behind, the nature of which I cannot even begin to fathom, but that is the perfectly natural transition from corporeal to incorporeal existence. 

And, maybe—back again. 

Who knows?    

In order to shuttle folks over to the blog to read my drivel, I shamelessly post links to the blog on Facebook.  What's been happening more and more is that any discussion/comment about the post ends up on Facebook, and not here.  I am going to try this as a remedy to the problem...screen shot of the Facebook discussion of the post.  Hope my friends don't mind...if you do, let me know and I will remove the screen shot.  


1 comment:

  1. I do believe every soul lives on forever. What that eternity is like for them this determined by one and only one factor...did they know Jesus and accept his free gift of forgiveness that he paid for on the cross or not.

    And you are right. Today, more and more people are living to 90. Thirty years ago, to live into ones 70's was remarkable. So, by today's standards 60 something is entirely to young to cross over.