Death is such a multifaceted and loaded topic, and something that is not discussed openly in western society compared to places like India where funeral pyres are a daily sight. Yet death is a normal part of life and something that we will all have to deal with at some point.
I recently lost a person who was very dear to me. In fact he was my rock for as long as I can remember. His death left a big hole in my heart and the feeling that I would never be able to feel joy again. While I was coming to terms with his death on the inside, life was carrying on as normal on the outside. It was hard for me to fathom that the world could carry on without this dear person in it.
I am grateful that I was able to spend time with someone who is on death’s doorstep. There was a sense of deep peace and acceptance amidst the sadness, which I took with me as I left the room, having said final goodbyes to ‘my rock’.
Now that some time has passed since the death of this dear person, I am starting to realise that his passing has somehow changed my outlook on life. His achievements in life could fill a book, and yet in his final days and today, none of that really matters. What really matters is the love and kindness that he was able to share with the world during his time on the earthly plane, and the memories created that live on in the hearts and minds of those of us left behind.
Our achievements, our possessions, our status, the dramas we create, none of it really matters in the end. These come and go, like clouds drifting across the sky, in their impermanence. These are merely toys that we entertain ourselves while we are here. While we have a body, we can enjoy earthly pleasures, but not be defined by these. I guess this is what Jesus meant when he said ‘Be in the world, but not of the world’.
Enjoy your time on earth, for this time is short. The things we stress about, do not really matter when we rise above and look at the big picture, like an eagle soaring over the land and seeing the picture at large.
Life is a series of moments to be savoured as they come and go. True wealth is measured in moments and qualities that money cannot buy – quality time spent with loved ones, watching a sunrise or sunset and giving it our full attention, losing ourself in the simple act of patting a dog and not thinking about anything else in that moment.
I believe that the purpose of life is simply to create, to appreciate and enjoy this precious gift that we have been given. It is precious because it can be taken away at any time, and it will be taken away. It’s merely a matter of time.
Without a doubt, the passing of this dear person from my life has been incredibly sad for those of us left behind and I feel like I have cried a bucket of tears. However, once the clouds of grief started to clear, what has been left behind is a new found appreciation for life and the intention of not taking life too seriously. Nothing on this earth is permanent, everything and everyone must come to an end. However, while we are here, let’s enjoy life, warts and all! Eat that ice cream, book that holiday, take the time to do more of what you enjoy doing, dance like no one is watching you! Live without regret, live without guilt. Sip your tea slowly, smell the roses.
Accept that there will still be stress and challenges, but know that these are life situations, clouds that drift in and out of the sphere of your sky. Don’t confuse the clouds (which are temporary) with the sky, which is the essence of your life.
In the words of Pitbull ‘Every day above ground is a good day’.
The death of this dear person has softened my outlook on life and reminded me just how precious life really is. Every life is precious, including the life of the glorious blue planet that supports us.
I realise that this death has not been futile, but has gifted me with priceless memories and teachings to enrich my life, keeping these in my heart forever.