Thoughts on Death

SunriseFor 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? Kahlil Gibran

Dear Friend.

You are face-to-face with the death of someone you love. I understand you. And I know that this journey is yours alone.

Still, my thoughts are with you and with death.

My entire life prepares me for acceptance of dying. And still I want to fight it.

Whether it is the thought of my own death or the death of one I love, I face the reality with denial and disbelief. Grace doesn’t come easily. It comes when I let go of the struggle for supremacy over this one sure thing.

Isn’t there something I can do? Can I not change the outcome? Can I pray enough, think enough positive thoughts, find the right food, the right medicine, the right path?

Even as I write this, I know what I know; that peace comes in acceptance. That my love of life must necessarily lead to my comprehension that death will come and that it is not the end. To be at peace with death, my heart must encompass the beauty of the moment. My mind must acknowledge that my soul is joined with eternity.

Connection is not lost in death. Yet, no matter how many times I have felt the encompassing presence of those who have gone before me; when death comes around again, I face the fear of extinction.

I forget that love doesn’t die; it has always been, and will always be, with me. Even should I forget every memory of the times and teachings that I have shared with that person, their love has changed me.  It is a part of who I am.

Death is not my enemy.



  1. “Do you think a leaf that falls to the ground is afraid of death? Do you think a bird lives in fear of dying? It meets death when death comes; but it is not concerned about death, it is much too occupied with living, with catching insects, building a nest, singing a song, flying for the very joy of flying. Have you ever watched birds soaring high up in the air without a beat of their wings, being carried along by the wind? How endlessly they seem to enjoy themselves! They are not concerned about death. If death comes, it is all right, they are finished. There is no concern about what is going to happen; they are living from moment to moment, are they not? It is we human beings who are always concerned about death – because we are not living. That is the trouble; we are dying, we are not living. The old people are near the grave, and the young ones are not far behind.

    You see, there is a preoccupation with death because we are afraid to lose the known, the things that we have gathered. […]. We don’t want to leave the known; so it is our clinging to the known that creates fear in us, not the unknown. Th unknown cannot be perceived by the known. But the mind, being made of the known, says, “I am going to end,” and therefore it is frightened.

    Now, if you can live from from moment to moment and not be concerned about the future, if you can live without the thought of tomorrow – which does not mean the superficiality of merely being occupied with today; it, being aware of the whole process of the known, you can relinquish the known, let it go completely, then you will find that an astonishing thing takes place.

    Try if for a day – put aside everything you know, forget it, and just see what happens. Don’t carry over your worries from day to day, from hour to hour, from moment to moment; let them all go, and you will see that out of this freedom comes an extraordinary life that includes both living and dying. Death is only the ending of something, and in that very dying there is renewing.”

    ~ J Krishnamurti.


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