DEATH

Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see. ~ Helen Keller

Death is weird. We think we know it, and accept it. We think we know and accept one day it will happen to us. We don’t, not really. We understand the concept but not the reality. Why is that? Many have come back from near-death experiences and have glorious reports. Death often seems lovelier, less brutal than the daily news served on a dark dreary platter of ugliness yet it’s still one of our greatest fears.

Death has power, great power. Death instantaneously places us in a frosty, firm stasis and effortlessly finds our frailty and holds tight and fast until we acknowledge its power. There is no life without death, period. We all know this but yet we don’t. Why don’t we get it? And in getting it, why don’t we hold life more precious still? Only death gives us a sharp, crisp, clean pinpoint focus on how precious all life is, not just our own. Perhaps we’ll never know. Perhaps we really don’t want to. What we do know is that when our time comes we want it to be peaceful and painless.

I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately. My New Year’s resolution to post weekly was halted by my Mom’s unexpected death January 12th. Yes, I knew she was going to die. One day yes, I knew she would die but not that day. I didn’t want her to die. Not on that day, not on any day, but she did. Her thoughts have ceased, her breath still, her body is gone, never to be warm, feel warm and I never, to feel her warmth again. Death….. yours, mine and those we love will one day, someday come to pass.

Grim Reaper, art by Anne Stokes at http://www.annestokes.com

The image most people associate with death is the Grim Reaper. I don’t see death as grim and final. Yes we are overwhelmed with sadness and no longer can we caress those we care for but death for me is simply a status update. I was brought up to believe and still believe that energy never dissipates but transforms. Since you and I are pure energy, when the electrical connections mainly our brain synapses stop telling our lungs to breathe and our heart to pump blood, we cease to exist in human form. We migrate into something else, something far less tangible to the human mind and almost unperceivable to the human eye.

From the millisecond your Dad’s sperm entered your Mom’s egg, you’ve been changing. From the miracle of birth to the silence of death we all go. So I ask again, where does this fear of death come from? Why does death have such power over us? Why is it our deepest, dreaded fear? I think it’s because we want more time to fill the space from miracle to silence with all the joys of life, love and experience all the beauty in others, ourselves and our glorious planet. We fear death when we fail to achieve our purpose. We fear we won’t get all the love we have to give out and receive love in kind. We won’t get to see all the wonders of the world. We won’t get to finish that project we started to help others, or leave a mark, a historical reference showing we lived, that we meant something. Never again to feel and see the joy in our children’s, grandchildren’s, lovers, friends faces when we embrace takes my breath away. Yet, if we live fully, deeply, without compromise, full of integrity, honour we have nothing to fear, not even death.

Death takes away but it also teaches us the most important lesson. When someone we love dies we remember. We remember to love, love, love, love, love. Live today, loving. Love as if it is the only thing you know how to do. You cannot fear death when your heart is full of love. You can mourn it, respect it, accept it and then move on and when you move on, rest assured you will take all the love of each person with you.

This piece was started March 14th but I never got around to posting it for one reason or another. I dallied because it’s not a topic many want to discuss let alone read during their leisure hours. Another reason was because death was all around me, wrapping me in a blanket of porcupine quills. Almost daily someone shared their news of the passing of a person they cherished. I’m still shocked and saddened at the unexpected loss of one of the best men I knew. My dear boss was buried April 14 leaving behind his wonderful, charming wife and three children, all of them people you’d wish to call your own family. My best and dearest friend was told two weeks ago her dear Mom had at most a year to live. My beloved friend celebrates her birthday March 2nd followed March 5th by the sudden and tragic death of her favourite brother. Her father’s death, which has never left her, is March 14th. With no time left to breathe she recalls the memory of her dear, dear friend who after a lengthy, hard-fought battle with AIDS died on March 25th. Sadly I pray that when her Mom leaves us, she does so in March so she can strike this month off as normal, wear black daily and render it the month of mourning with no pretence on her grief. She can then celebrate the remaining eleven months with full vigour as if to make up for the lost month which holds her greatest losses of all.

But life and death is not like that. It does not give us our way. It reminds us only that we are here to live, and live we must so when we die, as we all must do, it will be without regret.

However you view, celebrate, fear or attempt to ignore the thought of death, you cannot deny it. You cannot stop it. You cannot avoid it. You cannot control it or how it will happen. You can only control how you live.

I wish you all a life of love, without regrets, or too many regrets at best and throughout your long days and years, my best hope is that you strive to live your life with an open heart. A grand, humongous heart perhaps as large as a dwarf planet. Yes, live your life with a heart so big and full of love for yourself and others than when the feared, foreboding call of death beckons; you almost welcome a change in conversation.

FRACTURING OF A NATION

America is a vast country, in culture and complexity. There are folks hunting deer for food and living off the land. There are fancies living along the coast of Malibu or admiring their Picasso’s in Park Avenue who live off the sweat of others. The worst of these are the avaricious bankers (Goldman-Sachs) and corrupt politicians like Dick Chaney, well-known as Evil Incarnate.

Every aspect of destruction and downfall of America includes Dick Chaney’s involvement. There is not another human on the planet to have caused so much darkness and decay for Americans and the American Dream. His mission is to make everyday life an American Nightmare has been successful. The heart of Hitler beats inside Chaney’s chest, a heart that is failing and falling to the darkness of his life. As a tonic, I vote he breathe the polluted air and daily drink the toxic water he created for his fellow Americans.

What you are about to view is yet another avenue for Chaney to sell out America and the lives of Americans to fill his own coffers. His greedy lust for money and power is insatiable.

I don’t know the fate of America or what’s going to happen next. I do know that I can’t sit idly by and watch the destruction of the planet. Neither should you!

The earth we abuse and the living things we kill in the end will take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future”

~ Marya Mannes

ON BEING VULNERABLE: Part 1

What are we all so afraid of? Isn’t it more hurtful in the long run to detach from each other? More painful than any suffering caused from togetherness? We all need each other. There is no separation. Our separateness lives only in our lost minds like a misty morning.

Yes there is the likelihood, a good chance in fact for us to be hurt by being open with another regardless of circumstance or situation. Mother and son, friend to friend, lover to lover, dog to cat. Well perhaps not dog to cat although they have been known to co-exist quite famously contrary to popular legend.

When we are vulnerable, we are at our best. This alone makes any strife worth the effort.

The only time I, or many of my contemporaries have ever learned anything worth remembering is when we have opened up and become vulnerable. Whether it is via study, love or simply to raise ones voice to state an opinion, one which may certainly incite ridicule. The true brave among us still act and speak.

Vulnerability does not make us alone. Only in birth and death, in those transitive times are we ever truly alone. Between birth and death we are never alone although we may suffer feelings of loneliness. The slightest chance of isolation may frighten us into staying shut. But when we are vulnerable we allow room for people to see us as we truly are, Divine. In doing so we open ourselves and others to freedom, the freedom to state how we feel. A view of things through our eyes, a unique perspective as filtered through our heart, mind and soul.

Opening our heart without constraints makes one connect with the angels whose own vibrations resonate easily with the sound sung only by a pure heart. The sound emanating from a closed heart, one that lives in fear of being hurt is dull and deafening especially to those who hear  that sound beat minute after minute in their leaden chest.

As I child I often dreamt of a world where all we had to do was softly touch another’s palm and be inside their mind, their hearts and soul. It was wondrous. If my world existed we would become invincible in our efforts to find something great inside ourselves. To hold all that is Divine in us in the present moment. We  would search every day, seeking something more beautiful in ourselves to share with others.

 That dream hasn’t died, nor will it when it has the potential of being so very real. It is who we are. It is all we are.