Like a true Irish daughter, I am drawn to obituary notices and visiting graveyards. Even on vacation, I am at home with morbid melancholy.
At last count (Feb. 2011), 53 people who I’ve known personally have died, 13 of whom were close family members. And that doesn’t even include the demise of 12 beloved pets that were like siblings to me. I had attended 14 funerals by the time I was 18, most significantly, my own father’s when I was 8. And I don’t even live in a war zone. I’m going to another such gathering this weekend, a celebration of a dear friend’s life, the matriarch of a family I have known since birth. Her husband was my Dad’s best friend. As more and more people leave that had known my Dad, and who were of “the Greatest Generation,” I feel an end of an era approaching.
- Death has helped shape my life. How could it not? Pain, grief and loss is something I understand well. Death is why I treasure life even more, and it’s how I know what’s really important, for me.
- Death is a dreaded wake-up call, necessary, though unpleasant to say the least. I am not a morning person, I am a mourning person, and sometimes I’d rather just stay in dreamland, asleep.
- But the biggest part of life is waking up to death. It is about coming to terms with that part of us, and everything, that is mortal and impermanent. It is about helping us to focus on what is immortal and permanent. That common denominator is Love. And I am grateful for it.
I know and respect that everyone’s path is different, but for me, a life wrought with death has caused me to seek answers. It has made me a person focused on finding what I feel is life’s true meaning, and purpose.
“Saints come into this world by the grace and mercy of the Lord. They do not come to make it a better place, nor to improve its lot, but to free us from our bonds of attachment, and turn our attention towards the Father. They come to make us blind to this world and give us the sight to see the Lord.” ~ Indian Mystic and Spiritual Teacher, Maharaj Charan Singh Ji (1916 -1990)
This strategy has worked on me :)… For in my case, I know, and believe it to be so…There is so much more than this finite level of existence. Our birth, and death, here is the start of a journey, not a destination. We just have to ‘go towards the Light’ in our quest for eternal brilliance. Sometimes we feel the electricity has gone out, leaving us to grope around in the darkness. With bumps and bruises, it can be a rocky road. But somehow, the good bits, the joy, the love, the glimpses of things to come, encourage us to continue doing our Home-work and press on.
Being a student in the School of Life, I fully appreciate all of the lessons and all of the teachers that bring me closer to graduation day. Though I’d really prefer to healthfully drag things out and graduate with the Class of 2065! 🙂