More Thoughts on Death

IMG_0906Acceptance of death is a work in progress. It is a aggregate of little losses that don’t end with the last breath.

It is the involuntary onset of change that leaves us stumbling in confusion, even if we anticipated it. After lingering illness, although our conscious minds wouldn’t wish a return to the last days of pain and suffering; the finality of the end is disorienting. After sudden death we stagger with the impact. Our hearts search for solid ground which is no longer there.

In all cases we wake up in the morning and think for a moment that it is just another day. Until the realization washes over us that everything has changed forever.

We yearn for one last warm embrace, one more touch.

We pick up the phone and realize, again, that there will be no answer.

We have a question about our history that can only have been answered by this one person.

We want to share a secret laugh over life’s crazy moments.

We want…

It’s the hole that’s the bummer, isn’t it? A gaping hole has appeared in our daily lives that seems the all the more cavernous when we lose those who filled a large part of our thoughts and actions each day.

It can be the last of our perceived support. It may be the end of dreams that we didn’t realize we had. It may be a future that we forgot we had envisioned until our daydreams reach a blank wall.

Living in the moment isn’t so easy when the moments seem empty and void of possibility. This is when it takes acceptance. Again. And over again.

I loved hearing Thich Nhat Hanh’s thoughts on death when he appeared on Super Soul Sunday: “It’s like a cloud in the sky. When the cloud is no longer in the sky, it doesn’t mean that the cloud has died. The cloud is continued in other forms, like rain or snow or ice. … If you are fond of a beautiful cloud, and if your cloud is no longer there, you should not be sad. Your beloved cloud might have become the rain, calling on you, “Darling, Darling. Don’t you see me in my new form?

These words give me the renewed understanding that death is not the end. It is a new beginning.



  1. All the Eastern philosophical systems believe that death and birth are two sides of the same coin and that one cannot be there without the other. The cloud and rain metaphor is commonly used as are a number of others to prevent people from getting morbid about death.


  2. I believe that life and death are a cycle of states of being, and that death is not ultimate state. Otherwise I’m sure that I’d have a really hard time to deal with the notion of death … But still, the thought to lose one of my loved ones still scares me, most of all the thought to lose my husband. That’s just my fear of having to deal with life on my own.


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