If you died tomorrow, how would you feel about the way your life is headed? Would you feel grateful for the people you surround yourself with? Would you feel content with the effort you made and the person you became? Is there anything you would change?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this since my friend Leah died in a car accident during the last year of High School. I think the reason why it battered a lot of people around so much was because it was so unexpected – a young girl of 18 dying while doing an innocent thing like getting a lift home from her friend.
Just think about that for a second though. Are you alive? Were you born?
Then you will die. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you’re doing or how good/bad of a person you are.
You won’t know when or how old you’ll be when it happens or if it will be quick or painless. I kind of think this is a good thing that we don’t know how or when it will happen but why is it that in our culture it is so taboo to talk about? Why is it only old people that are expected to die and when do you even become old?
We have a lot of human rights issues happening right now regarding birth and pregnancy but death, and our rights regarding it, are just as important. If someone you lived with died and you were the only one in the house – would you know what to do? Do you know what the laws are, if any, regarding the dead body? Does your family have any specific rituals or rites of passage that need to be performed over the dying or dead person so that they leave this world peacefully?
I also find it coincidental that a woman’s period is also taboo (or even ‘frowned upon’). Any of you that have experienced a menstrual period can safely say that you have experienced a death of sorts. A feeling of being very withdrawn and down – maybe even mourning the lost opportunity of conception. Even miscarriages! Are women allowed a safe space to mourn for the loss of their fetus (if they so choose)? At that stage, in a metaphysical context, that fetus was apart of her. Did she feel the death herself?
These questions need to have answers because without death we can’t have life.
Thanks for this. After seeing a few loved ones through their death I’ve learned that reminding myself of death can be a beautiful mindfulness practice.