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Archive for May 14th, 2012

Death will come whether you are prepared or not.

Take heed.

Death waits for no one.

There is no time to say, wait, I need to add more lipstick and fix my hair.

There is not usually time for you to call that long-lost family member or that 7th grade Math teacher, or the one that got away, .,.

We don’t know when death will come for us.

All we know is that death will come.

Right now, I know a family that is going to through a painful death process.  Family feuds were not dealt with, people’s needs to control not put aside, estranged relationships strained even more.

Everyone is so isolated, from each other, from friends, from the person who is dying.

And I actually think that the person who is dying may be the person who is blessed because of not having an awareness of this consensual reality anymore.  That person may or may not be spared some of the pain.  My guess, is that some of it is being processed during those last breaths.

In my years working with hospice, I’ve seen amazing things happen — some truly healing and magic occurred and usually it was in those moments when we got out of our own way, let go of the ego we are so bound to, and just allowed ourselves to be free and to be love.

What extraordinary pain we put ourselves through.  Living can be hard enough.  And the process of dying can be painful.  Why would we want to add more to it?

Death comes whether you are prepared or not.

So I ask myself, as I sit on the cushion. . .

what’s left?

What’s still undone?

What do I still need to accomplish?

Have a touched lives?

Does my work matter?

Have I made sure that my parents know how much I love them?

Have I taken enough time to laugh with friends?

What regrets are there, if any, and do I know how to rectify them?

Am I wasting time in a life I don’t feel like I have control over?  Don’t want to live?

Are there relationships that don’t contribute to my greatest good?

Are there relationships where I don’t feel like I can continue to be loving and compassionate?

Death will come whether I am prepared or not.

I have no control over the where, the how, the why, the when. . .

It’s so easy to be taken off guard by the little things like going out to a car that won’t start. . .

Imagine what it must be like to “wake up” and realize that life is over. . . that whatever you have believed or not believed is where you find yourself.

We can sometimes live too cautiously, spending time planning, living in a bubble, not taking chances, etc.

Does a life of safety make up for a life unloved because of fear or control we have given away?

If I am tired and have things to do, I will often ask myself, “If I don’t talk to my parents (or someone else) tonight, and I woke up to a call in the middle of the night, would I be okay with that?”

Sometimes the answer is that I need to care for myself so I can be compassionately present when I am interacting with the other.

Other times, I know deep down inside that yes, I am tired but it is more important to reach out and to hold the other person close to my heart, because of the fragility of our existence.

Death will come whether I am prepared or not.

So if I don’t know the when, where, how, why, etc and death won’t wait, don’t I want to live so that when it does come, I can breathe in and relax into the uncoiling of my self or spirit from this physical world?

Don’t I want to know that I lived to recognize that which I gave birth for and that lovingkindness and compassion, or at least holding the intention of those essential ways of being, is what guided my life?

This body will no longer serve me one day.  Nor will my wealth, acquired knowledge, or possessions.

But the manner in which I rest my head, and follow my breath, and focus single-pointedly on the present will be all that I have.

Can I strive daily to make that my practice?

Death will come whether you or I are prepared or not.

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