I am beginning to mourn the death of one of my dearest friends who died a couple days ago. This is no easy journey to embark on. I wonder if I am ready for all of what it will encompass. Will it be like a treasure hunt through a dark cave where I will discover the buried loot deep within myself from having loved such an amazing person? Will I discover pockets of her love for me, pockets of the gifts she shared with me and the light she added to this world in that cave of the unknown journey?
Each of us have our unique beliefs about death. Yet death remains one of life's greatest mystery. When we gather around someone who is dying we may see clues to the mystery, we may feel intuitive insights, we may sense a pure love, yet death remains a mystery.
I ask myself what clues about this great mystery have I gained from my friend's death? I saw a clue that although the final moments of death may be a relief and a release I learned that the path towards death can be very challenging and that it is important to be honest about all the many parts of the last days. This requires a raw honesty to be real, to be heard and respected.
As my tears slide out of me, I begin to heal. I trust my tears are an affirmation of the love we shared. I will accept her death while allowing life to have the final say--that we are all a part of the mysterious cycle of life that keeps opening and making way for more life. I will embrace the night trusting dawn is on its way. I believe that as long as each one of us lives, our loved one will also be a part of this world for they are a part of us and we honor their memory through living our life with love.
I offer this prayer to myself and all of those experiencing a loss:
Spirit of life,
As I pause, I listen for my breath that connects us to all life.
Breathing in this moment with a gratitude for my friend's life that added peace, beauty and enthusiasm to this world; I ask for courage to embrace the cycles of life which holds also death. I believe that I, too, am a part of that universal cycle of life and death.
Bless us all as the cycle turns with a faith that the cycle does not end with death. Rather it continues on in love to life once again.
May our memories of our friend surround us with love and light during this time of grief as we miss her presence among us.
May her spirit soar into the wide, vast space that she was amazed to be a part of.
Dedicated to Neen: traveler, gardner, drummer, teacher, nurse, nature loving friend of the earth.