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Death is Merely a Journey

Because I have personally experienced the loss of so many loved ones, I wanted to express some thoughts that have comforted me along the way.

It has been said that: “Death is merely another journey, one we all must take.”

Kahlil Gibran in “The Prophet” states: “For  life and death are one, even as the river and sea are one…For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”

Mary Elizabeth Fry (11-13-1905 to 9-15-2004) wrote a poem:

Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep

“Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glint on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.”

It has been determined that, when a person dies, their weight decreases by one ounce immediately. Is this the weight of that person’s Spirit/Soul/Essence of Being? Interesting idea, to say the least.

Our Spirit is Us, undeniably. Apart from any religious beliefs, we are all the same. We, the living, forget that our Spirit is indestructible and is more than our bodies, which merely provide us with a place to live and learn while we are on this plane of existence.

John Denver sang about life as: “Just a gathering of memories and then we are gone.”

Hollywood does a good job of stating in pictures that the person who has made his/her transition is still here with us in our hearts as feelings and in our minds as memories.

Christians state: “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Perhaps they say: “We know that person is now with Jesus and is not in pain anymore.”

Other religions state it differently, but it is the same idea: That person’s Spirit has moved on, leaving only the shell behind.

Testimonies of people who have clinically died and been brought back have one thing in common: They saw Beautiful Beings and White Light, which was so peaceful. That idea comforts me.

Sometimes death comes in a tragic, unexpected way. That leaves dear ones dismayed by the suddenness of it all. Sometimes it comes to one who has lingered terribly long, so that death is a release from the agony.  Sometimes it comes calling when one least expects it.

Grief over the loss of a loved one can come in many forms: Anticipatory Grief when someone is lingering, Instant Grief when one leaves unexpectedly or a relationship ends. There are many books out there to aid the ones left behind.

Death is, indeed, a part of life. It is a journey we all must take at some time or another. The weird thing is that one does not contemplate one’s own demise. It is as if we will go on forever. When we are reminded of how fickle the Grim Reaper can be, reminding us of our mortality, we usually shrug it off and move on down the road.

My question is this: How can you truly live if you don’t accept the inescapable fact that death is inevitable, sometime?

It is not morbid to contemplate it. It ultimately gives one the freedom to really live! Be in the NOW!

We can comfort others in their sorrow, knowing that they feel deprived of the presence of their loved one. We can have compassion for them during their grieving process. The normal grieving period is two years. It is that period of time when you think of that person, and it stops you in your tracks. Perhaps the tears flow as you miss that one so very much. Even though times goes by, your memory of that person is as fresh as yesterday when you think of them.

Very few people who are going about their daily lives ever really think that: ‘Today is the day when I will cease to be on this planet.” When you kiss a loved one good-bye, you do not know that will be the last time you see him/her.

I always make sure to tell the people in my life that I love them. When my husband and I part, there is always a kiss and a goodbye said. I am comforted that, come what may, I left on a happy note as would he.

Can you say the same about your loved ones? Or are you still fussing over the burned toast or a hasty word spoken in anger? You never have the assurance that will be the last thing spoken or done. Always be aware of it.

Life is a funny thing – it goes to the living. My question is: Are you living? Or are you just existing? Are you doing that which is best for you and your loved ones? It is always your choice in action.

No one who was caught in the 911 catastrophe knew that would be their last moments on earth, or even in plane, car, or train crashes. One woman became so afraid of flying that she took the train, which derailed. The only person who died was her.

Fear of death is an awesome thing and takes a terrible toll. Fear paralyzes one’s abilities such that inaction becomes the order of the day. Sad to say, but when Fear rules, that person loses so much life force and ability to function, which can never be recovered.

“Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” -Mark Twain

If “Life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one,” how can you go on ignoring the reality of it all?

Your choice is all you have to enable you to be 100 percent functional. Are you willing to use it wisely?

God’s blessings on your journey!

 

 

 

 

Living in the Now

This is a phrase that is used by many people for numerous reasons. We would all agree that, whatever form it is in, it is a good idea.

But what does it really mean? It may seem self-explanatory and rather simple. However, as with all things that sound simple, in reality it can get very complicated in a hurry when one tries to use it in everyday life.

Circumstances may appear rather easy in the beginning of each day. You know you have certain things that will occur that day. So you begin your day. Your boss changes his mind on a due date for a project and gives you half the time to do your portion. This will require a lot of your personal time — perhaps even working at home — to do what is asked of you. That will bump your work out session, a date with your important other, and forget the time to cook that healthy meal you were planning in lieu of grabbing something on the run. This happens in many ways to every one of us. We start out one way, only to have to reverse directions and go another way. Our priorities change constantly during any given day. So, the question arises: How can I Live in the Now?

Life takes planning, both short and long term, in order to feel like we are in control of our time and destinies. It takes money, goals and cooperation from others, which they may or may not provide.

We must maintain our awareness of the above paragraph when we are busy with our daily lives and priorities. Otherwise, we arrive at a point where a long-dreamed-of goal is supposed to be achieved, only to find that it got lost in the cacophony which has occurred in the meantime.

So, how do we stay on track, Live in the Now, without sacrificing our planning? It is like deciding to take a journey by car. You get out the maps in order to decide the best routes to your destination (ignoring GPS in this example), you check out your vehicle to be sure it is safe for a trip, you pack your bags, and you get underway, following your template. You know there will be road construction (obstacles), traffic, accidents, etc., along the way. Yet you choose to keep going, mile by mile, until you reach your destination.

Living in the Now is just like that road trip. Moment by moment, you begin it. You know how you want to get there, when, and with whom. You take in the information that is coming to you through all of your senses, analyze it, and then see how it fits into your “road trip.” This all happens with lightning speed at both your subconscious and conscious levels. If you have an established template, you have more stability, enabling you to adapt to conditions on the fly. At the end of your day, you will be able to look back on your accomplishments despite the obstacles and happenstance occurrences. You will have positive feelings about yourself and others. You will have energy to proceed into your evening and enjoy life more. The daily wear and tear will have occurred to you as well, but you will have been proactive, resolving each instance as it appears to the best of your ability. You will feel like you are LIVING your life.

However, many of us do not make a template. Whichever way the winds blow (and sometimes the winds can be pretty horrendous!), it blows that person hither and yon. (The demands of daily living are the winds.) At the end of that day, that person will be exhausted, will feel like the day “just got away” from them, and will be embroiled in the negative emotions generated by being out of control of the time and the day. He/she will just drop on the couch when finally arriving home, with no thought given to anything other than the daily essentials. This person will be EXISTING. Procrastination would be the way of operating, creating more ill feelings to wreck havoc on the spirit.

The daily vicissitudes (wear and tear) take their toll on all of us. The only question is: Do you want to LIVE or EXIST?

I, for one, choose to LIVE in the NOW. There is always more to be done in a day than I can possibly accomplish. Yet I am enthusiastic about seeing a beautiful butterfly or flowers, watching a Sand Sculpture Contest to see how creative adults can still be, or looking at children playing — always a joy. When the daily vicissitudes come, as they always do, it is my attitude which makes a difference. It has been said that, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Yet, how many of us can do that? Not many. We REACT in lieu of ACT, we look at the negative side of the situation first, and then we “blow our cork!” Is this beneficial? Does it solve anything? Not likely. By changing my choices, electing to form a template for my day, deciding my destination, and be positive and SMILE — the rest of the day eventually takes care of itself. Things happen or don’t happen. I run into my obstacles, examine them assiduously, see what can be done or not, and move on. It is like a waltz, where your center of balance is over your feet. If someone or something is always pulling you off balance, how can you dance? It is your job to maintain your balance. No one can do it for you. Your attitudes, decisions, and priorities will run your day for good or ill.

If you are the Captain of your ship, with your hand on the helm, you alone can decide where the winds will take you. Take your hands off the helm, and watch where the winds carry you. You are a powerful person, able to decide this: Do you want to LIVE or EXIST? Do you want to REACT or ACT? Do you want to be positive or negative? Where is your center of balance? It is your CHOICE. If, through inaction and procrastination, you do not make a choice, it will be made for you. The winds will take over, I can assure you. What do you want?

Beautiful Butterfly

Beautiful Butterfly

Cactus Blossoms

Cactus Blossoms

Sand Sculptures

Sand Sculptures

Sand Sculptures

Sand Sculptures

Playing in the Sand

Playing in the Sand

Children Playing

Children Playing

Having Fun with her Daddy

Having Fun with her Daddy

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