On #Death and #Dying
October 16, 2014
I woke up this morning, meditated, and then began my usual routine of taking the dog for a walk, drinking a 1/2-cup of coffee, and writing my daily blog. Before that, however, an urgent nudge directed me to read some recent updates on Facebook. I immediately found that my dearest friend’s mother had passed away just hours before. I’m so far away by distance, but my heart felt as if I was there with her when it happened. Before I left Nashville, we visited her mother together, and we all prayed together at her bedside. Just weeks before that, her father died. I feel so helpless right now, because I wish I could hug her.
At times like this, I contemplate death and the purpose of life here on earth. I often quote Dan Baker, who wrote the book, What Happy People Know. He speaks of a woman who had survived cancer, only to have gotten the diagnosis again. When he asked he what she thought of happiness, she said:
“Every moment that’s ever been, or ever will be, is gone the instant it’s begun. So life is loss. And the secret of happiness is to learn to love the moment more than you mourn the loss.”
Notice she doesn’t say “but” she says, “and”… “the secret of happiness is to learn to love the moment more than you mourn the loss.” There are no “buts” in death or happiness. They are both exact mental equivalents. Without the knowledge of one, you can’t totally be liberated to happiness.
When a death impacts my life, I soon realize that what I mourn is my own ephemeral existence, every time. We don’t have much time on the earth. If you’re lucky to have spent more than fifty years on this earth, you know what I’m talking about, when I say, that time continues to speed up the older you get. This accelerating continuum only gets faster and then you face the inevitable. If this is the case, then what exactly are we here for?
We recognize in times like these that we haven’t stepped up to the plate, most times, and haven’t done what the Universal Law of Love has been encouraging us to do for so long. If I get anything from this moment, it’s that I want to spend more time delving deeper into my commitment to God and the Universe for the rest of my time on earth.
Pray for the loss, yes. Grieve the loss, absolutely! But encourage yourself, in a time like this, to make the most of every relationship, every opportunity to be loving, compassionate, and make an impact on this earth!
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