The feeling of death, confronting the emptiness left behind, is a challenge for each person. No words will fill the void, and yet we are driven to try.
Over the years I have helped many people find peace with death. I initially show others how to understand and then accept death as a transition… We all have a strange dance with death. I have died, I have had many friends and family who have passed away, so I am on first name terms with Death, not a bad fellow at all. The strangest fact which I have only come to realize recently is: Death is purely about our relationships. We don’t mourn our passing. We mourn for those we hold close in our relationships.
The closer or more connected to a person you were, the sharper the edge of death will feel.
Death doesn’t represent any one single definition.
Transition isn’t a static process. It represents many different stories all at once. The passing of the body back into the earth, the process of moving with spirit, the interactions between memories and expectations, and so much more.
Since death is a statement about a relationship, the most powerful answers to help work with death arise from responses that give us gracefully acceptable options towards the reconciliation of the relationship between yourself and those who just passed away.
Dealing with death is reconciliation.
First and foremost, always when looking for words to help another, let the words come up as
As simple condolences respect each person’s process coming to terms with so many different definitions and transitions they now face. We often find no single word works, Yet we still strive to console: as if a few keywords or truths could ever cover the fullness of the transition of death and all its faces at once.
One way to embrace this process is discovering your own words & feelings that find completeness in your reconciliation process.
The Mexican definition of soul is the footprint we leave behind for others to connect to, in that we are present, still after death, in how others remember us. Even the person who passed away can change and grow within the stories we hold of them. The tricky part then is to release the stories that diminish us and to hold the stories that enable us to grow.
Discovering these stories, growing for both you and the person who passed away to become more.
In this we can find our equilibrium between the past , now and the future and not lose those we love.
Blessings as you release those stories that no longer serve anyone
Blessings as you find and refine your inner stories now which serve for your living life now.
The edge of death can be very sharp. Don’t let the sharpness cut you off from your own life.
Sometimes tears are the best pillow.
True friends never pass, they merely go to rest in your heart later in life.
Let them rest deeply, in the heart, let your passing friends rest deeply.
Death as an experience goes beyond words because it represents when a person melds back into the larger weave of everything. The breaking you will feel from the death of a loved one is both the breaking and failure of words to express your feelings. So the lesson is don’t try to find the words, don’t force yourself to express what is larger than yourself.
Embrace it, view it, discover poetry instead: of the whole experience. The deeper melding of so many images, memories, and connections into something new, hold your former relationship as a form of spiritual poetry in the feelings you now have. In that you will honor the memories and move on to a future without leaving the one you love.
This process of vocalization will allow you to see all of the connections within death itself.
To Discover reconciliation between you and the one you loved.
To Uncover and expand into reconciliation between yourself and the larger universe.
Chapter 26 – Death
Thoughts About Death
Kurt Vonnegut once wrote: “You have to be very careful what you pretend to be, because you might wake up to find that’s what you have become.”
In life we pretend to be many things. It’s imagination in action as living.
Death is the time for us to return to our true nature, when a person no longer pretends to be anything other than themselves.
Death isn’t an ending of our paths. The moment of death is timeless and the turning point of consciousness; it’s when consciousness can touch the entirety of life. In touching our entire nature we can stop pretending and *sigh* into the Tao.
Paths of the Dead
Death is an experience which tempers the ego. Many myths have a person going into the land of the dead to learn. Even the Gods (Odin as example) would die in order to gain wisdom. I think it’s true; one does gain wisdom from death, whether from personal experience or through experiences dealing with death naturally as it occurs in our lives.
Experiencing death within one aspect of our nature, ripples across our entire being. So experiencing a spiritual death is as real as experiencing a physical death. I have briefly touched upon both, and will share a brief story of my path and observations.
Time is the key
People think death is eternal
Death is moment-less, only life is eternal
Life mixes to: seconds, years, months, days.
As jumbled glimmering glances tumbling amidst jostling
Moving to a beat…
As a spring sun beats down
Warming life, my life, growing again as a weed
Amidst the seconds that rain
As time is felt
and time is life
and life is time.
When I was a child, I constantly tested how high my sneakers could bounce me. One day the sneakers might bounce me high enough to touch a cloud. The day I did touch the sky was without sneakers as an ocean wave slapped me backward into drowning. No one knew I was drowning that my body was quitting, my mind had switched over and everything was shutting down and, well, I was over the world; I could touch and hold Earth in my hands as I looked over the Earth in my moment of death. I didn’t know to be afraid; instead, I explored the nature of my life. In one moment, I touched my entirety.
Then my brother pulled me out, back into: Breath! Wonderful breath burst back into my lungs. As a child, I knew one moment I was dying, and in the next moment, I was living again. Both moments were wonderful! I was truly living in the moment. After recapturing my breath, after gaining bearings again, I went straight back to playing in the water and had a great day in the ocean surf. Years later, when I asked my brother about that day, he didn’t even realize he saved my life! He just pulled his silly brother out of the water when his little brother was under the water a little too long. He had no idea my spirit was packing up to go bounce around into another cycle of my life.
What happens when a boundary isn’t a real boundary?
Adults assume a death boundary exists based upon pretty strong circumstantial evidence: everyone dies, no one comes back (or very few). I believe this evidence produces a purely one-sided model of death. A view comparable to saying the world is flat, complete with waterfalls into space, based just by looking out to sea and seeing a “boundary” of a horizon. My experiences of living, of passing thru the transitional time of death has led me to conclude that my “expression of life” is instead constantly moving thru, circulating thru all the possibilities of what we call life. Death isn’t a boundary; it’s a transition back into other expressions of our self.
Now when I tell people about my experience of drowning: almost every adult responds, “Oh my god! Drowning is the most terrible death”. I lose my words as I personally know drowning and indeed dying, can be a most wonderful experience. How do you convey an experience to a person who is so in fear of any death? I want to ask “Do you worry about sleep when the consciousness magically fades into the black for a few hours?” I know the answer will be: “No: Because I wake up and remember myself”. The analogy will break down at this point, as dying, doesn’t bring you back the next day. Death brings one back into another expression of their own life, but it doesn’t normally round trip a person back into the same body the next day.
So where does this leave me in explanation?
What is my path concerning death?
Many paths exist; start with the core of life
Living in the moment is the simplest to attain just by being in the moment.
No guru or tricks are required: It takes only patient self-exploration.
I vividly remember an encounter with someone dying on the streets of New York City. What would your reaction be upon coming across a person facing death? I wrote this poem to talk about that challenge.
It turns out the viewpoint one takes on death does have a big impact on the types of activities that would call to you.
Also, all too many people rush in the last second to discover religion. No one needs their soul saved from death. It’s a natural part of our nature. Fears creep in life, fears based upon outside judgments, outside views of trying to be something one is not. In these cases, it is the fear that needs addressing rather than finding an answer towards death. But that is an entirely different subject. The point here is coming to terms with death does have a major impact on how one interacts with their life.
The big problem about understanding death is this: all our words are based on life experiences. No word truly captures the experience of after death (and I know I have died). So this means everyone tries to use words based on life to describe death. The result is several hundred thousand variations of stories about death or even the afterlife.
None of these stories about death are truly 100% right, how can they be when the words don’t mesh up. So, in the end, the viewpoint on death requires a significant leap of faith and acceptance in how we hold that viewpoint. Once we have acceptance of death, then our actions follow to support the faith of our life.
Once finding a viewpoint of death that fits your essence, that viewpoint shifts how you do act and live to fulfill your life.
Taoists have a very colorful view on death, in fact, multiple variations of our viewpoint do exist. I merely teach death is the time we transition back into life fully.
As a result, my activities in life are always 100% based upon living fully, since I know upon death: I merely become one again with… “—— color in your answer between the lines —– “.
Death consists of lines and boundaries. One trap is the ego will try to color in a story for you. That’s the rub: Ego, pushes a need to be greater than everything around us, busily coloring in the details of life. Distracting a person, from a more significant nature extending far beyond any man-made lines. I never did color between the lines as a child. I see no reason to start now.
You have to find your inner answer since if you think about it what we fill in answer to be will be a personal experience of what we call “death”. Once you come to acceptance of that last word or phrase, it changes how you act. It opens up life tremendously after you accept death is indeed part of who we are, one and for all the same: Yet unique to each of us.
By Casey 2008
No words cover the experience.
No time undoes the feeling.
In love having fullness.
Only to be left releasing:
A shovel, a handful of dirt and …
the hole left behind.
In love, in sharing: becoming angels.
Living itself: is the wing beat of being an angel.
Even when forced to face death
Coming down to find the ground.
No words fulfill this hole.
Not enough dirt hide the remains,
within the mind, memory, and visions
which as if alive
continue to play out.
I wish you peace
to say in oneness
Death is a reflection
Looking back from the depths
towards the light
where we all are one.
This is truth
The reason no words work
in that Death is the merging,
with the Tao.
Remember the kindness to go on living fully.
Discover Death can be a starting point to find reconciliation with yourself and others.
With kindness, I send you condolences.