Somewhere, once upon a time in our cultural training, the subject of death became taboo. Was it because we grew frightened by the mystery of what lies beyond our physical plain? Did we turn away from the pain of knowing our own human frailty? What makes us get all squirmy at the thought of our inevitable demise?
In the past months I’ve been living with the proximity of death as I’ve watched my mother’s slow decline from lung cancer. It’s stripped away all pretense, leaving raw exposed nerves and a determination to not shy away. She’s always been a teacher, not only by profession but by default, through her own unintended impacts. I have witnessed what it means to suffer regret as she's struggled to reconcile her past and her unmet longings.
Thru this experience I've learned, that when all is said and done, we and we alone are responsible for our own happiness. No one else can make us happy, because no one else was ever meant to. Taking responsibility for our life gives us freedom of choice, and this is where grace can be found. While sitting with the discomfort of this new awareness, I've looked in the mirror and asked, “so what must I do before I die”? Gently and honestly I've taken stock of my life thus far. How do I want to be remembered? If I were to die tomorrow, what legacy do I want have left behind?
What does it take to live a life that leads to a peaceful death? By asking these questions with compassion and wide-eyed curiosity, we discover new clues to a joyful existence. For the sake of a life well lived, you are welcome to join the conversation. I’ll be hosting a Sonoma County Death Salon through MeetUp, starting Wednesday night, April 23 at 6:30 in Santa Rosa. I invite you to open the closet door with me and take a peek inside. CLICK HERE for more info. Or share your comments below.