(D) Death

I honestly wasn’t going to go here. I’ve already talked about balance, and that touched a bit on the need for all points on the cycle, so I was really hoping to go in a different direction, with “D”. However, I found out earlier this month that a friend of mine passed away, and so Death came a wandering my way, irregardless of my feelings on the subject.

I have, what I consider to be, a pretty  good outlook on Death, and it’s one that I think fairly common within the Pagan Community, across a variety of paths. While clearly it is an ending on this plane of existence, and a sad occasion to those who are left behind, I really do feel that Death is but that first step on our continuing journey through the cycles of “birth-life-death-rebirth”. I do believe in reincarnation, and that we find our loved ones again and again throughout our various incarnations, so we are never parted for long, and that should be a great consolation. I also feel that in each life we have lessons that we are here to learn, and that when we pass, it means that we have learned all that we needed to, in this life. In essence one’s funeral should be a celebratory time, more of a bon voyage party, a great send off to the next great adventure – till we meet again.

In practical terms though, it’s been a lot harder for me to keep that in focus. I’ve had to deal with Death quite a bit in my life, and at this point, other than my father (who I’ve never been super close to) and some various distant relatives, I’m the only one left in my immediate family – everyone else was gone by the time I was 25. Though I am married, with children of my own now, hubby’s the only one really left on his side as well. So truly, it has often seemed like Death was a close friend at times, rather than the distant acquaintance we rather Him be.

This week seems no different, and yet no matter how I try to tell myself that my friend is in a much better place, I just can’t seem to get myself through the sadness I feel at her loss. It is worth mentioning that her death shouldn’t have come as such a shock, she was born with a very serious life threatening condition, and spent most of her life in and out of treatments and hospitals, so to know that she is free of that, should be enough to make anyone happy. However, you always think that you’ll have more time, and somehow there never is. I do know that if she had lessons to learn this go around, that she more than learned them… not only that, but she taught the rest of us some very important ones as well – about friendship, generosity, and about keeping positive in the face of insurmountable odds. She was a blessing to all that knew her, and her passing truly left this world just a little less bright.

While it may seem otherwise, I do have a deep respect for the necessary place that Death has within the universe, even if it’s hard for me to reconcile my heart and my mind on the subject. I think that those who fear it, may not completely understand that without Death, and the similarly feared (and another “D” word) Destruction, that we would live in a state of stasis, never learning, never growing, never moving beyond what we are now. That without the removal of the old, there would be no room for the new, and the cycle of life-birth-death and rebirth would begin to break down, and stagnate. Of course out of control, Death and Destruction is not good either (nothing in excess ever is), but in the normal course of things, it’s important to remember that they are a necessary part of life, and not something to be shunned.