Most people know how to live well.
We know what we love to do and where we want to go.
We know how to work hard and play harder.
Yet there is one aspect of life that we don’t know how to do well.
We don’t know how to die well.
We don’t know how to deal with death well.
Whether it is our own death, or another’s.
This happens because we have not yet learned how to talk about death.
We hide from it.
We run away from it.
We ignore it.
And then it smacks us in the face when we lose someone we love.
Because we do not understand death, we fear it.
In ancient cultures they learned to honor death.
The were many rituals, some quite elaborate, around death.
Death was seen as a part of the cycle of life.
It was accepted that everyone dies.
It was expected.
And by having rituals to honor it, they were able to deal with it in a more sacred manner.
Yet today, we have removed ourselves from death so much in the western world that we have forgotten how to deal with it.
We have forgotten how to talk about it.
And we have forgotten how to prepare ourselves, and our loved ones, for it as well.
Without an active conversation around death, it recedes into the shadows.
It becomes a monster to hide from.
So when it affects us personally, we are not prepared.
It turns into one of our biggest traumas and fears.
Yet dying is just the next step in life.
It is the conclusion of the cycle of life.
And it is the next step into the great unknown.
It is something to be honored and not feared.
To be aware of and not ignored.
It is our ever-present companion on our journey through life.
One day we will all meet with it.
As hard as we may try to out run it we cannot.
Learning to die well may be one of our most difficult challenges in life.
Yet is can be the most rewarding.
Even in our fear and our pain.
We can all learn to die well.
~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant