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Facing and Trusting Death

After burying one of my cats last weekend, just as the birth of Spring was arriving, I’ve been exploring attitudes and myths surrounding the nature of death and dying. My good friend, Greg, devoted himself to his mother’s care before losing her to brain cancer last year. I have learned a lot from his experience. Read on.

by Greg Gillette, Asheville, NC

“You will recognize that the riddle of life is to be understood through knowing the nature of death.” This quote by Rudolf Steiner is a very profound and important message, especially in today’s society, where the physical body and materialism are glorified and death is usually seen as the ultimate loss.

Regardless if you believe in more than one life or not, the simple truth is that everyone will lose their physical body and leave the earth, so why do we still fear death and rarely talk about it. Look at society and the somber dark expressions about death, the unhealthy pursuit of mass materialism and the strong push to keep people alive, artificially, when they should be free to die and move on.

Granted, experiencing the death of someone close to you is tough, but how much of what you feel is based on images and messages from society? Without death there is no life. Look to Mother Nature and who will see a constant flow of life and death, a beautiful flow of everlasting energy. The same can be said for the constant flow of life and death for us. Everyday, millions of people experience life and millions experience death.

I feel that because most of us rarely talk about death, except when someone we know dies, death is greatly feared and misunderstood. I am not advocating speaking about death all the time because you will most likely turn people away, but to bring it up from time to time and explore the mysteries of it and know that much knowledge can be gained from facing death before you actually die.

If we begin to explore death and see it as a necessary part of life, when someone close to you dies, it will have more meaning and the transition period will be easier and perhaps, mystical and magical.

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