Doing dying well…
“From the moment we are born, we begin to die.” Janne Teller
An interesting perspective isn’t it?
So if you recognise this as a reality – the interesting thing is that we don’t stop living because of it!
In fact we do the opposite… We begin to live.
And in time we grow living with passion, vitality, goals, desires…
So if we go back to the quote – and if that rings true… that living is actually a process of dying –
it would suggest that dying well is actually living well!
I think that might take some time to process!
Looking at it this way, puts dying in a different light – and one could argue there’s no need to fear dying because it’s something we are naturally doing in living.
So maybe our fear is something else?
This reminds me of a quote…
“Don’t fear dying, fear not living” Dawn Pray
For me, as I’ve got older and faced the death of some of my loved ones… it seems I’m beginning to tackle the first part of this quote...
I’m able to talk more freely about topics surrounding mortality.
And that has some positive gains.
Each week, together with my grandsons, we light a candle near the photo and talk about ‘Nonno Ralph’ (my dad who passed away 4 years ago before they were born).
Despite having never met him they are beginning to know his character well… he is often in our talk and thoughts.
I feel comforted that they are aware that when someone has ‘gone to sleep in a different place’ as they say… (heaven or however you explain it) we can still talk openly about them, keep them close and enjoy what they bring.
It also helped not long ago when we found a dead lizard… I could openly speak to my grandchildren about the cycle of life…
It was amazing how well they accepted it and were able to help put the lizard to rest.
Lessening my fear of ‘death’ has also helped me spend time with several sick loved ones without awkwardness or anxiety knowing it was likely to be the last time with them.
I have also spoken out about arrangements for my own final resting place, without seeing this as morbid!
The reality is that dying is inevitable…
And in time… it will be something we will all face…
So it would be powerful to do death in the best way for ourselves and for those around us and for the memory of that experience.
So how do we do this?
Perhaps we could take a leaf from those who have modelled living well during this time… such as David Bowie who artistically represented his final days in music and lyric.
So perhaps even more challenging is the second part of this quote – fear not living…
‘Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, and then go do it. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs are its people who have come alive.’ Harold Thurman Whitman
Something to think about…