It is that season in my life when literally there is someone dying constantly. My mentor Dr. Benjamin Alexander once told me he stopped going to funerals; I did not understand and asked him why. ” All my friends have died, going to the funerals does not make me feel better.” I judged him then and thought him selfish. Now as I am older and metaphorically “in his shoes”, I know his pain. It first starts with the inner circle of family, then widens to friends of the family and then just friends. One by one we see the circle complete and one by one the grieving and mourning takes its toll on our spirits and souls.
So how do we the living honor our dead and yet care for own mortal fragility? I have come to this question with the solace that it is the wheel of life. We learn how to be excited and engaged when our young ones enter the universe. Why then don’t we rejoice when our elders have come to the end of their journey. Answer – we are only human and revel in the known, the memories, the touches, the feelings and the thoughts of love.
What has helped me in my season is to be truly happy that the departed are no longer in pain; that there is no more sorrow; that joy has come, and they are united with their friends and family on the other side. I rejoice in the hope that their peace in transition is greater than any sorrow I may have in their passing. Then finally I am grateful for the awesome opportunity of sharing time, time with them, and knowing each breath is a gift of the present. Finally, I suck in deep breaths of air and visualize peace all around us…. and if only for a moment it is my sanctuary .. my place…not to grieve but to say thank you and share gratitude for the life that I have.