I should have written this post last Friday for the Pagan Blog Project but, well other things took my time. However, I did know what I wanted to write about and that was my take on Death. This subject is often still a taboo subject for many but that, I think, is because there is still a lot of fear and misunderstanding surrounding it. For many it heralds the end, and for others it brings the idea of either a fiery hell or a peaceful heaven, even for many more it means…what? We all have our own ideas about it don’t we. Here I will write about what it means for me.
I see death as rather a Yin Yang concept – in life there is death and in death there is life. From the moment we are born/incarnated on this earth we are dying. We are never far from death although we don’t like to think about it do we? Actually I think it’s something we should all think about and embrace because it’s not the scary end we like to think it is. Nothing lasts forever, day turns into night; the green leaves on the trees turn gold and brown and wither come autumn and by winter they die and drop from the trees and it is the same for us. But if we notice carefully nature is cyclical. We can see that most vividly each month with the waxing and waning of the moon. Life is a cycle of birth, death and rebirth or renewal. In actual fact nothing ever ‘ends’. Death certainly is not an end, it’s merely a transition. Us humans tend to think only in materialistic terms but we forget about our spirits or souls. Death for us is the transition from a materialistic, earthly life into another one…the journey always goes on. There is always renewal and rebirth.
However, this doesn’t really help those who lose loved ones. It is an extremely painful time to deal with the death of a loved one, especially children who go before us. It seems wrong somehow doesn’t it, and the pain is great. I think that is because we, as humans, have a hard time letting go of the material. Even if we know life goes on theoretically, when death comes too close to home we have a difficult time with it. We want our loved ones to stay, we don’t want to lose them and even if we know that they’d be better off leaving the earthly realm (as in the case of a terribly and painful illness) we still mourn their loss. This is completely normal and I’m not saying that mourning and grieving is wrong. Actually it is an important step in the healing process. However, the fact is we as humans are attached to the material and in losing someone in death we can forget that they’re not actually dead at all. They’ve merely transitioned into a different but parallel realm if you like; they are still with us but not materially.
Do I fear death? No, not really. I guess if I’m completely honest I fear the manner of my transition; I don’t want it to be painful. but I think that even in the manner of our transition there are lessons for our spirits to learn. I guess it will be how it will be and there’s no point in worrying about it, or even thinking about it really. By worrying about it we detract from living in the now and experiencing life NOW. People have asked me, given my beliefs on death, how I might deal with my daughter’s death should she transition before me. Of course no parent wants their children to go before them. However, this happens all the time doesn’t it – there are no rules to say it shouldn’t. Of course I will grieve; what parent doesn’t and yes it will be painful. However, in amongst the grief I will know that my daughter still lives on. As a person who strongly believes that we are actually spirits having a human experience and not the other way round, people who have ‘passed over’ have actually returned to their true form. All my loved ones who have passed over still exist but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss them. I miss my mother terribly sometimes, even though she left this earthly life in 1998. But the grief has gone now. I guess, for us humans who are left it is a matter of being able to let go of the idea of the ‘material’ person, and that isn’t easy because for some, attachment to the material realm is so strong. In being able to cope with death as a transition we need to let go of our attachments to the material and realise that it is not the only form of life there is.