Saturday, January 12, 2013

On Death, Or The Only Constant Is Change

Seems like many of my friends and family are losing loved ones. Death is rarely as difficult for the dead as it is for those left behind, so I offer this in hope that it provides some comfort.

Death seems so final. An ending, abrupt even when anticipated. We dwell on how we'll never see their smile, hear their laughter, or feel their embrace again. It feels like a part of ourselves died with them.

In truth, it is simply a different kind of change, not wholly unlike the millions of other changes we experience in our lives. It's a change of state, of being. Every philosophy on Earth (including science) contends that nothing is ever truly destroyed. Whether you call it the Circle of Life, the Law of Conservation of Energy, Reincarnation, or Salvation, some part of those that pass continues on.

And here's the really great part: they aren't hurting anymore. That may not be as much a consolation for those taken by violence or accidents, but for those that succumb to illness, I can think of no greater comfort than the knowledge that they are no longer afflicted with the pains and aches and debilitations.

But it hurts for us, especially at first. Reminders are everywhere, twisting the knife and causing the wound to bleed anew.

And, for awhile, it sucks.

But it gets better. Life goes on. You get out of bed. You go to work. You hang out with the other people that love you. And it gets better.

For anyone that panics at the thought of "forgetting," or "moving on," STOP. Continuing to live your life is not a disrespect to the death of your loved ones, but a way to honor their lives. Never, ever feel shame (or allow someone else to make you feel shame) that you are continuing on. Let your tribute to them be a life well lived.

SO, to sum up, death happens. As in tarot, it is not necessarily a final ending, but a change. And don't let the pain of loss keep you from living your own life.

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