You don’t know life until you know death. It’s a bold statement. But if you have experienced a significant loss in your life, you will understand the true depth of it.
I was present for my father’s passing when he took his last breath. I was at his bedside speaking to him, reassuring him that my mom, brother and I would be alright and that we would take care of each other. I told him over and over how much he was loved by so many people and the legacy he would be leaving behind him. I told him even though it was early and he was too young to be experiencing this, it was his time to move on and we had accepted that. Time to leave this illness that had wreaked havoc on his body and had caused him so much pain and suffering. I continued to talk my father through this, being there to hold his hand and support him while he transitioned until he took his last breath and his body became empty, an undeniable vacant shell from which his spirit had moved on from.
There are no words that can fully capture the depth of my experience nor the depth of my new found understanding and perspective of life following this experience.
A clear sunny day is more beautiful than ever before. A quiet night at home with your partner in your arms is unimaginably perfect. You find new depths of unconditional love for your family and close friends as well as gratitude that they are sharing this experience of life with you.
I now have watched someone pass away in front of my eyes. I’ve also experienced that same person come back to check in on me since then. The beautiful consequence of that has been a removal of any fear around death and the dying process. I believe that many people fear death; the finality of it, the termination of an experience here on Earth, the eviction from your body and the involuntary desertion of your loved ones. However once you realize that it is not a death but rather a transition; a piece of a larger puzzle; the continuation of a cycle; you begin to understand that death is no longer something to be feared. It signals the beginning of another experience.
You begin to realize while you’re here in this physical form you’ve been given a gift. You came here to experience love, joy, adventure and discovery for a relatively short period of time. You came here to be you and express your individuality and uniqueness. To give love and be loved. In summary, you came here to enjoy yourself before moving on to another experience.
I’ve made a conscious decision to choose love and joy now. To fully experience this lifetime. To be grateful for my body which is carrying me through life. To be grateful for those in my life whom I love and who love me. We are in this adventure together, isn’t it incredible? I’m going to enjoy every moment until it’s my time to return to where I came from and be reunited with my loved ones who have already completed their cycle.
Today we released a butterfly in honor of my dad at Falcon Ridge Farms, an event organized by the Hospice where my dad had spent his final weeks. Over one hundred butterflies were released to honor the spirit of those who have passed on and to celebrate their transition. What a perfect commemoration to celebrate a beautiful spirit!