Death & Dying
Thinking about our own mortality may bring up many things and it would be fair to say that most people have some kind of fear and/or concerns around death and the dying process.
These could range from;
Fear of pain
How will I die? Will it be from a lingering illness or suddenly?
Fear of leaving family and friends
Worry about how loved ones will cope when they have gone
Leaving things left undone and leaving things for someone else to sort out
Fear of not achieving or doing a particular thing
And some people don't even think about it at all
We could also be concerned about how we would cope with seeing someone going through the dying process
There could also be practical worries about how to physically cope with the changes that losing a loved one would bring to our lives
There are many more scenarios - this is just a snapshot of some common feelings around the topic and I would invite you to add your own fears and concerns to this list. As we reflect on these points – let's be open to the possibility that all these fears and concerns have accumulated so much energy and stigma around them, because of the mere fact that we are generally not prepared to allow ourselves to go there with them.
Accepting death as part of life, and embracing the fact that we are all going to reach the end of this life, will support us to be honest and real about the cycle of birth and death.
Of course, none of us wish to suffer a painful death and we would not wish to see anyone else go through this either, but perhaps if we break down some of our own personal resistance we may have around death and open ourselves up to it being the natural process it is, we could in fact bring more of an ease, not only to the dying process but also to how we actually deal with it and prepare for it on all levels.
We generally assume that older people die first, but this is not always the case, and this can be a very difficult scenario to have to face, as it may feel to us that a life is not complete if it ends suddenly, unexpectedly or at a time we feel is too soon.
So lets look at the practicalities - We live - We die - and during this cycle there is a lot in between. In life there are many things we prepare and plan for and we readily talk about these stages.
Preparation & planning
We may have life plans and aims, which involve extra study for our career and there may be house moves, or preparing for the birth of a child. All of which we contemplate, consider and usually spend time preparing for. We may even go as far as to have some kind of life insurance plan, to ensure all things are paid for, if we should suddenly depart, but rarely do plans get made for the actual event of dying and all the personal practicalities and considerations that go along with this.
Open & honest conversations
Conversations about death are usually left until someone is close to that stage and at this point many shy away from talking about it and refrain from asking questions for fear of upsetting anyone. In some cases, we start to move away from the truth of the situation and almost begin to pretend it's not happening, instead of being open and honest with each other, which is actually what we all in truth crave and it is this level of honesty that would in fact support all involved.
It has long been proven that talking about things really does support us in coming to terms with them. Discussing our fears helps us to realise that some are not as bad as we first assume.
If we can fully accept and embrace the fact that we are at some point going to end this cycle of life, we are then able to get on with living more fully.
Living life in full
If we choose to live with varying forms of discontentment on a daily basis, where we have the feeling that we are never enough, and we generally feel that we are not ever getting all the things done that we wish to do - This all adds up to us not living a full life in line with who we truly are and therefore tension starts to build up. So it is super important for us to take a look at how we are living on a daily basis - as this will have a direct relationship to how we feel about dying.