To bury or burn is about endings. It's a question posed about practicality, traditions and ceremonies around the end of life. The question feels mundane in light of the loss. To lose a father or a friend or a child or a dog- the pain is massive and we have to consider what to do with the body? When my dad passed away two years ago, I found myself in the midst of a busy shopping mall. The last thing I wanted to do was shop, but there I was having to shop for white clothes and shoes for the mourning ceremonies.
Endings are hard. Because even as we feel our own world close in, life goes on. Endings are difficult because we have to confront our losses, our pains and hurts, this feeling that we have been somehow betrayed, that life dealt us an unfair hand of cards. But hurting does not mean we are weak. Feeling pain means that we are human and we are authentic. It shows that our hearts are pure and our souls divine. To care for someone knowing that loss is inevitable makes us brave. It shows our power to believe in the best of life.
We encounter many endings throughout our lives. We lose people through sickness and death, through the end of relationships and friendships, we even lose our dreams and hopes along the way. The degree of pain and our mourning period may vary, but they are there just the same. It serves us well to grieve, because to bury our deepest emotions into an abyss will only burn through our hopes and make us unkind. Our yoga practice serves us in that we learn about this cycle of beginnings and endings. As we inhale so shall we exhale, as we come up so shall we come down, as we arise so shall we descend. Everything is temporary, but the ending of a situation can never negate the beauty of the beginning that it was, nor the beginnings that are about to come.
We don't like endings because it means our loss translates to feeling lost. We don't like endings because most of the time, it wasn't our choice. We don't like endings because it means we have to start over. But we have within us the warrior who resides, she who is able to take it moment by moment, she who is able to elevate mere surviving to thriving amidst the loss. In time and through practice, we begin to accept and maybe even welcome the ending, because it means we get to start over.
May any residual sadness that we feel towards any ending in the past or present give way to hope for a new beginning. May we release any negativity in our hearts and continue to love what the universe has to offer.