I originally had a very different idea for this post. However, as I wrote, I kept feeling as though I was being pulled to write something else. I want to write this in a way that I hope will help my wife find some comfort in the recent loss of her father. I also what it to be a platform for anyone and everyone to share their own ideas, beliefs, and experiences. That being said why not jump right in.
Many of us have a real fear of death. Even if you have a religious or spiritual belief about what happens after death. Many of those are very happy, positive beliefs. Why then are we so scared of this inevitable end of our mortal selves?
Is it ego, fear, or curiosity that causes this? Ego in that we think everything will fall apart if we are not here. Fear caused by what is ultimately an unknown, no matter how strong our faith may be. Curiosity because we just plain don’t want to miss what will happen in the world after we leave it.
I don’t really want this to be an exploration of religious dogma or theology. I want to more explore how the inevitability of death can breath more life into our lives. We all know that death is a part of life, so why then do we live like we are immortal.
If we take our lives as finite we would stop spending so much time on the stuff that causes suffering. We would spend more time seeking out the things that bring our soul joy, happiness, and love. I know that with the idea of constant change and impermanence it helps me find the gratitude for the everyday stuff.
So this brings me back to the original question, is death really the end? I would have to say it is not. I think our true end is when we stop searching, stop seeking to know more today then we did yesterday. That to me is more of an end than when we go from one form of existence to another.
So instead of seeking to add as many years to our lives as possible, why not seek to add more life to those years. Seek something new. Find a new adventure to go on. Learn something you didn’t know yesterday. Have a conversation with someone vastly different from yourself. Know that your time in this life is short, with this knowledge make the most of what precious time you do have.
In the end, no one will remember how many years you lived, they will remember what you did. They will remember how you lived your life. They will love you and hold your memory dear because of how you made them feel and how you treated others.
In a way, the memories others carry of us will mean that our death is not the end. No matter what faith you have, I think it is fairly universal that we all acknowledge that some part of us lives on. We are all connected in some way to our family that came before. Our family is a way for us to live on past our death.
I think it is summed up well in this line from the Ozzy Osbourne song “Back On Earth”
Death is so final, for only the living,
The spirit will always remain