Our culture meets aging, dying and death with judgement, avoidance and denial. Dying is viewed primarily as a medical and psychological event. Death itself has become taboo word and is often replaced with “passed away, “transitioned,” “graduated” or left their body. It’s as if , if we say the word death, we might bring it on!!
Yet it is the one event that is inevitable, we just don’t know when. This aversion, denial keeps us from living fully. There is no conscious living without embracing conscious dying.
I was fortunate to do a workshop with Reverend Bodhi Be, who runs a non-profit business called Doorway Into Light providing honest conversation and services of products and practices for end-of-life and after life death care. They have a resource center for honest conversation to educate, empower and support the dying, their families, the grieving, and all who may die one day.
For me personally, I got to see how my living a life where the creator and creation are not separate, is the ground for exploration not run by fear and anxiety.
Bodhi spoke of our disconnection from our ancestors. Unlike the Hawaiian and other indigenous people, we are cut off from those that made our lives and this moment possible. We give lip service to “the ancestors”, but how many of really feel that connection. In my studies of Hawaiian chanting, we were taught to feel all the ancestors who ever chanted that chant, lining up behind us to sing with us.
Death is a very spiritual event and the time has come for the community to participate in participating with neighbors , friends and family. We have organizations like Hospice and Share the Care which support and encourage having “the village ” take responsibility for and participation in our deaths. Is it time to shift the multi-billion business of death costing $7,000-$10,000, pollutes our earth to shift to home funerals, green and ocean burials with simple, non-polluting caskets? Is it time for natural burial preserves where our bodies can fertilize forest and green ways?
If you are inspired by this conversation, go to www.DoorwayInto Light.org for more information or to set up an event.
If you believe that I do that there is only one of us, death is very personal . Is it time to come out of denial about death so we can all live more fully alive?