I challenged myself to write only 500 words on what I believe about death. Here's what I came up with:
I believe that death is not the big deal we sometimes make it out to be. And I have learned this through the privilege of walking beside those who are preparing to die.
In 1989, I lost my own mother to cancer. Death was a pretty big deal to me then. Afterward, however, I knew on some level that my mother was just fine, probably in heaven. But I hadn’t yet sorted out what I really thought about death.
Then, a few years after mom’s death, I became a hospice worker. I never dreamed I’d learn so much by rubbing shoulders with the dying.
First and foremost, death need not be feared. Rather, when the time comes, death can be embraced with open arms. It is a time for reuniting with the spirit world from which we all come. It is a time for ecstatic celebration and home going. It is a time of connecting with the angels. As one woman posed just before leaving her body: “I see hundreds of angels!”
Secondly, the dying taught me “there is so much more than meets the eye.” I’ve heard about many mystical experiences while journeying with the dying. I have also had my share of such experiences. Once, I walked into a room of a man who asked me later, “Who was that woman who walked in with you when you came into my room?” I was speechless for a time, as I was not aware of anyone with me when I walked into his room. My own mother came to me once, too, through a woman who could read spiritual energy off of people. And mom introduced me to my unborn brother who was the one my mom had miscarried many moons ago!
Thirdly, I have learned that all of life is a kind of preparation for death. Shortly after my book, THE LAST ADVENTURE OF LIFE, was published, I met a young Buddhist volunteer firefighter in a health food store. We got to talking about life and death and my work. The young man exclaimed to me, “In Buddhism, birth is the hard part. Death is easy, because we have the rest of our lives to prepare for it.” Wow, what a concept: We could use the rest of our lives, especially our many goodbyes and farewells, as grist for the mill to prepare for the most important day of our life –- the day of our graduation from earthly life when we are free to release everything and everyone from our lives.
Finally, I’ve made the joy-filled discovery that all of life is interconnected. We are connected with all that is here on earth; we are also connected to all that is in heaven. The more we believe in this Magic of the Universe, the more it comes alive in our lives. The more we believe that synchronicity guides our lives, the more it does. Lastly, “Don’t die wondering," for we just may get exactly what we believe.
See a beautiful song I picked to go with this at my Examiner.com site.