Recently two movie celebrities, a daughter and a mother, died 14 hours apart of each other. Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds had a close and difficult relationship. Carrie Fisher died of a heart attack returning from Europe. Debbie Reynolds after learning of the death of her daughter and best friend died fourteen hours later of a “broken heart”. What is this mystery that caused them to die so close in time to each other? Death is the one thing in life that we have difficulty understanding or an event we are unable to control.
Thirty thousand years ago few people lived beyond 30 years old. It was a difficult and dangerous time in order to stay alive. Ten thousand years later with the agricultural age we began to live longer. Over the ensuing years many important discoveries helped to add more years to our life, such as removing sewage from drinking water, increasing medical means to save lives at birth, etc. Today our life expectancy is 76 years old. This much longer life gives the mental illusion that we will live forever. But death is real and we will die, and it is still a mystery. It will happen to all of us and the time and place of our death is yet another mystery.
Our death is a significant event for each of us. If we explore our feelings about death we will find there is within us a fear of it. It is important to familiarize our self with the dying process and to face our fear with understanding and self-compassion in order to live our life more fully now. Death happens to all of us and it is a major spiritual event of our life.
In coming blogs I will outline some of the things I’ve learned about the death process and how we each can work with our fear of dying and how it can give us more joy and freedom in our lives now.
My new book, Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening can help prepare us in a way that will affect how we want to die as well as live our life now with both vitality and freedom. The book is a guide book with exercises about understanding our death process, assessments, spiritual and religious practices to help in dying, 16 bonus videos to find our path to inner freedom and practical methods to prepare our family and caregivers for our dying, as well as how to help our friends and family to meet death without fear. The book will be available in September 2017.