This is a not-so-morbid poem about death. I think death needs to be talked about, written about, read about, thought about without the labels that seem to always be applied to it. I’m all for the mystery.
“People in mourning have to come to grips with death before they can live again. Mourning can go on for years and years. It doesn’t end after a year; that’s a false fantasy. It usually ends when people realize that they can live again, and they can concentrate their energies on their lives as a whole, and not on their hurt, and guilt, and pain.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Death is a part, not the whole. Pain is a part, not the whole… the part is never greater than the whole.
Even in the darkest moments, there is something awesome to behold: it is life. Even in the face of great loss, life continues. A continuation has occurred, and maybe it’s not death in the way our society calls it.
Maybe death is a reorientation, a cue for some new expression of life.
Since loss, one of the most challenging and life-giving practices I’ve adopted is what I call unlearning death.“Grief is not a task to finish and move on, but an element of yourself—an alteration of your being. A new way of seeing. A new definition of self.” — Gwen Flowers #grief tweet the truth
Now, being open to the mystery (or mysteries?) of life as the whole puzzle and picture isn’t just a choice that makes me feel better; it helps me grow and listen to what everyone thinks with less judgment. This openness inspires my work and enhances the connections I feel with others – who often have different points of view.
Opening my mind to death without absolutely needing to know all the details has given me the opportunity to live better… to really live.
A Contemplative Poem about Death
I imagine my love makes you deathless.
I imagine you living more than
in my memory alone.
And I suppose that to be deathless is
not my ultimate goal—
for death is part of the whole.
Shall I unlearn death, then?
Shall I start all over again?
What I think I know about what
has happened to you
mustn’t be all there is to know.
It mustn’t be.
Are you (willing to be) open to the mystery of death and life as a whole?
Share your thoughts, practices or perspectives that soothe and support you – with me in the comments below, or with a loved one by passing along this poem to them.
Life is richer, lovelier, and lighter when you’re open to everything.