I recently attended a retreat the sole purpose of which was to meditate upon death. Gulp. Most people don’t really want to be on a first name basis with the grim reaper, if you know what I mean. And yet, fear of dying is an undercurrent for much of human unhappiness. Making peace with the inevitable is to make peace with life.
Thirty of us sat in silence, with our eyes closed. The leader chanted, “Your death is certain.” She rapped repeatedly on a drum saying, “Your death is absolutely certain and unavoidable.” Drum, drum, drum. “And you have no idea when it will happen.” Drum, drum, drum. Then the drumming stopped and we sat, without a sound, meditating on this powerful and sobering message.
We don’t know when we will go. Many of us certainly have more time behind us than we do ahead. Yet, when it comes our turn to pass, as it has come to all throughout time, how will we go? Will we scream, cry, and wail? Or will we leave with gratitude and love, crossing into the unknown without resistance?
Which way would you rather go?
Have you made friends with death?