Working in the field of dying, death, and disposition over the past while I have been struck by the all to common theme that death is somehow the bad guy, the villain, the unwanted guest, and the enemy to be fought at all costs. It is a bit like the Hadfield’s and the McCoy’s long standing feud that the living combatants fought out habit.
Somewhere and some-when along the way and over time we soured our relationship with death and created this nasty monster that is sucking us dry emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Oh yes, and financially too for that matter.
But death is not the monster we have cast it as! Our relationship with death IS. We have simply drifted into some habits that hamper our ability to die well and to say good-bye with grace and dignity. We have pushed death out of our homes and families and chosen instead to out source end of life services to professional at the expense of our own health grief.
When you look consciously at death in a very really way we need to be thankful for it, after all, we eat things that have died for our nutrition’s sake all the time. No matter what your eating habits are vegan, vegetarian, carnivore or any combination thereof things die so we can survive. Yet when death comes our way we run for the cover of modern medicine and are terrible hosts.
Now don’t misunderstand me, I am not rushing my own death or begging death to come knocking on my door, not at all. I am blessed to be healthy and I deeply love being alive and I have done my own work.
I have changed my relationship with death:
- My end of life paperwork is complete and handy for my family to access
- I have had the ‘hard’ conversations with my wife, my children, and siblings
- I am a member of the Memorial Society of BC and my cremation plans are prepared and on file
- I stared my own death squarely in the eye as I watched my late brother Peter die last fall. I am comfortable with my own mortality
So come and do some of your death preparation work with me and learn how to get yourself ready and how to support others in doing the same. Learn how to change your relationship with death and how to help other do so as well.