Life and Death
“Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.”
Lao Tzu (Taoist)
“Life and death are illusions. We are all in a constant state of transformation.”
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Christian)
“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.”
Khalil Gibran (Sufi)
“There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?”
Jesus in John 14:2 (Hebrew)
My aunt is dying. Her name is Elaine, but we call her Lane; she is my mother's sister. The last of her generation, she will close out an era for our family. Having gone through the deaths of every member of my original family, I have come to a comforting familiarity with this particular transition. I have watched them go through the life review, and arrive at the place of assurance. My father was even able to articulate it. He said to me less than forty-eight hours before he died, “Whatever happens, Jane, everything is going to be all right.” He had seen the other side and knew that we were all in good hands. Everything we worry about, and fear we've done wrong, is but mist and shadows.
The quotes above are by four men of their time. Three ancient, one modern--different times, different places, different religions—same message. And it's a message with which I fervently agree. Life and death are a continuum. I had a lucid dream two days ago, that my mother and daddy came to see one of my son's plays. They looked great. Mother in her red coat with the black fur collar that she loved so much; Daddy in the suit he wore to their 50th Anniversary party. Mother fussed at me, as she always did. When I awoke, I called my cousin, Anne, Lane's daughter, and told her, “Mother and Daddy just stopped by; they are on the way to pick up Lane.” Then yesterday, she called me to say that Lane had been talking to someone they couldn't see. They asked her, “Who are you talking to, Mama?” She answered, pointing to the air beside her, “Ginny.” That's my mother.
Once Carl Jung was asked, “Do you believe in God?” and his response was, “I don't believe. I know.” And so do I. We change forms, we transition, but we remain, and life continues. I take comfort in that. I hope you do, too.
In the Spirit,