Death is a difficult topic to talk about. It is categorized as negative or morbid or depressing. And because we live in a culture of denial, we act as though we have all the time in the world. Though we know that death is certain, none of us know when death will come.
Last Wednesday, I attended the wake of my friend Francis. He was prepared for death, so to speak, that he was able to orchestrate his own wake in his last will. He decided on the order in which people in his life will deliver their eulogies, and he gave instructions in anticipation to the grief that we will all feel. "If I die a sudden, unexpected death, then grieve, but do not grieve for long. I myself do not and did not ever fear death. I know and I have always known that death is but like waking to a more peaceful reality, the reality that this life is just an illusion and the next is the real life of true peace and happiness. I am with my Creator now so save your tears and save yourself the trouble of thinking of many regrets. I have lived a full life and I have affected yours in one way or the other. Please pass on this spirit of love and generosity to others. That will make me or my soul very happy, and your soul as well."
The enlightened mind not only knows-- but also accepts-- the inevitable death of this physical body. The enlightened mind does not live in fear of losing this body, because it knows that we are not this body. However prepared or unprepared we think we are in facing death, whenever we are in Savasana, we practice dying. When all is said and done, can we be at peace? Can we let go of the what ifs, the could have beens, the should have beens?
It is said that everyone dies, but not everyone lives. Perhaps, by confronting the reality of our own death, by learning to make peace with dying, we can then make the decision to live fully, without holding back.
Offer your love to those who are no longer with you in their physical body, and know that you continue loving their spirit even as they have changed their form and shape.
I offer my love to my friend Francis. Thank you for your teaching on life and death.