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Why is the end of our lives an afterthought?

How would it be if our minds could approach the end of our lives as something sacred and divine?

We live our entire lives planning for every eventuality. We take out insurance for our homes, cars and even our lives. We pay into pensions to secure a comfortable retirement, and we invest in our skincare to ensure we look good when our boobs are in our shoes, or moobs in some cases.

So why is the end of our lives an afterthought? It is the one thing none of us can control, and the one thing that is guaranteed. Grieving is an uncomfortable and heart-wrenching time. It is a profound sadness that you cannot even comprehend until you have experienced it. When you think of those feelings that well up at a time of loss, it is understandable that you would want to avoid thinking about them. Why would you want to face those kinds of facts, stare death in the face and bare your soul to such vulnerability?

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was one of the founders of the hospice movement and a pioneer in the field of grief and bereavement. She believes that it is the denial of death that is partially responsible for people living empty, purposeless lives. For when we live as though we will live forever, it becomes too easy to postpone the things you know you must do. Notice some of the things you have told yourself that you must do, like checking in on your neighbour who you know is lonely, spending more quality time with your family, eating a healthier diet, quit the booze, its an open-ended list.

One thing that grieving teaches us, it's that we should have given more credence to the kinds of things we know we 'should' be doing. I know that when I have grieved for the people I loved, I found myself wishing that I had done just that little bit extra when they were still here. I would remember the warmth and security of their unconditional love.

It takes great courage to allow yourself to face up to the thought of losing someone you love and care for, but what happens when you do so, opens up your scars for healing. A healing that is only possible when you face the shadow that houses your unconditional love. The kind of love you feel when you look at your kids, your life partner, your pets or whatever it is that washes a euphoric wave over your being, where you feel nothing but connection and importance in something far greater than your self. So much purpose and goodness are born of that love.

The strongest, kindest and most loving people I know, are the ones who have known suffering and loss—the ones who have hit absolute rock bottom and somehow managed to ascend the tunnel to back to daylight.

So be vulnerable to your impermanence, focus on love and only love while you are here.

Liz xx

"Remember, the light is always inside of you. And every day, by remembering it, you feel it, and it will grow. When life is joyous, the light will be there. When there is hardship, the light will also be there. Know that the shadow is illusionary and temporary. Bliss, ultimately, bliss and light, are the truer and stronger reality"

- The Afterlife of Billy Fingers by Annie Kagan.


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