This picture of “death” is one dimensional and is as easily forgettable as the trampled upon dust of those fallen petals which now dance unnoticed on the top of avoided mud puddles.”
Current definitions hold that death is simply the permanent ending of a vital process in a cell or tissue. From my experience there are infinitely more dimensions of death. My understanding defines Death as the state which allows us to be (re)birthed into a life other than our current state of being. Of course, I cannot speak of my own physical death. In that case, I can only speculate to describe the process, transportation and (re)discovery of oneself as a new being who is suddenly awakened into a new realm. As if anything I could conjure in my tiny mind could really fathom the experience that this kind of death can bring. No, the dimension of death to which I am referring is experiencing the tragic loss of someone close to you, and that being YOURSELF, as. you. still. live. And here let me stop. Some have said, I know your pain of death, I’ve lost a ----. You can fill in whatever you think I’m talking about. But, let this help guide you into what I am really inferring. Death, as can be described by, a rebirth of a new you. Period. The worst, and I shouldn’t say “worst” because that isn’t quite right, but rather the hardest, most difficult rebirth is the one you didn’t ask for, the one you didn’t plan for. This kind of death could be divorce, financial hardship, or yes, even the loss of your beloved child. You can’t pinpoint when it happened, certainly not the moment the event punched you in the gut, grabbed your bleeding heart, ripped it out of your chest, and left you gasping for air that could no longer fill your imploding lungs. No, that moment and the ones that follow closely, find you focusing on feeble attempts to stop the ringing in your ears, comprehending your surroundings and trying to be strong for those closest to you. No, death hasn’t deepened in you yet. You haven’t died quite yet. But, slowly as the days, weeks, months, maybe years pass, you realize you are bent in your thinking. Your view of the world has changed as well as your view of the people in it. You are new; and you are shocked at your transformation. Death sat you down, looked you in the eye and started a long-deep conversation. You can’t help but be changed. And as you emerge from your “cocoon” you are stunned to realize you are a different person. If this hasn’t happened to you, if you don’t understand the depth of unauthorized change to which I am speaking, stop wasting your time by reading these trivial nonsensical words. You simply won’t get it. To those of you who have experienced the gradual, stumbling, mind-numbing evolution/de-evolution/re-evolution of your being, my hat very humbly goes off to you and your brave choice to live in the midst of a brand-new you and in an incomprehensible new world.
Earlier, I couldn’t say “worst thing” when speaking about what we have experienced, only difficult and hard. The reason being, as death has deepened inside of me, I can rightly say life has too. There is a struggle to see the “new” you without seeing the horridly torturous transformation process thrust upon you. It was something you didn’t ask for or really want. Death did that, changed us, transformed us and watched us to see how we would react, what we would do. But, did you know? Death never sits alone. In my experience, Life sits right next to him. The change Death brings when I see him alone is just that- death and all the colors he brings into my world which is destruction. As I continue to gaze at him eventually the only colors that exist in my world are levels upon levels of death, nothingness and unrelenting pain. However, when I realize Death does not sit alone, the colors of my world begin to drastically change. The law of this current world is, “There cannot be life without death”, so, then, the opposite must be true. “There cannot be death without life.” Both sit with us. But, Death- he’s loud and flamboyant and with the pain of this world lodged deep within my heart I am attracted to him, even though I can’t stand or understand him. And Life, well, He is quiet and patient and He waits. He doesn’t come without permission. He doesn’t do and undo my life without my consent. So much happens to me that I didn’t ask for; it’s odd to be loved and respected enough to have to ask for His involvement. As I think about that statement, and feel the weight of this truth as it settles into the marrow of my bones, I am reminded of a toddler playing with a “fit the right shape into the right hole” game. While my heart knows this deep abiding truth of giving permission to Life, my soul fights with the awkwardness of the rightness of it. I’m not accustomed to asking for Life’s involvement. Sadly, I’ve grown so used to just trying to dodge all the bad- run from death, hide from pain, and cast all negativity behind and away from me- because it all comes unbidden, unannounced and unwelcomed.
Losing Grace scarred me and the journey thereafter has transformed me. And I’m learning to be ok with that. I didn’t turn my head, cough, and “get over” it, like it was a normal albeit uncomfortable personal assault or accepted natural cycle. What a waste of a tragic event! It was the death of me. But, like the cocoon for the butterfly, is it death or is it new life? The truth is, Life and Death is set before me, has sat with me. To sit with Death, not run or hide from his presence has transported me into transformation as I have leaned into and held onto Life. To absorb, wait, and wait and wait and possibly make mistakes and wait some more …has made me realize there is no perfect cocoon of transformation of life. We are fumbling around with our “new” selves bumping into things and people-perhaps even hurting them and ourselves in the process. But, when Life is seen and experienced in the same depth as Death, I learn… I grow. And I am at peace with the death of me and am learning to love the emerging “new” me.