Life Yoga

Dealing with death

December 13, 2015
Dealing With Death

What a title. As if I had any idea on how to deal with death. Honestly, I don’t. I wish I knew better, I wish I could get a glimpse on how I can manage some day, somehow, to be okay with the fact that there is only one certainty in life, and that is that one day it will end.

But I’m not. I’m scared, I do not want to die, and I do not accept that the people I care about will eventually leave me too.

There is something really strong, something truly powerful, inside myself that refuses to die. At some point in my life, I got really sick, seriously sick, to the point that I could’ve die. Even in those moments, when death felt closer than ever, I still hold on dearly to life, as if I was invincible. And I can’t imagine that one day I will let it go. I am in the lucky position where I have only lost a few people who were close to me and I feel like I’ve learned and developed my understanding of loss each time. I sent my sympathies to the families via GiftTree sets and found different ways of getting over each loss.

Knowing that we will die is indeed what makes life so special, but it is so much easier on a daily basis to simply push aside that idea and keep doing what we are doing. That’s why in yoga, we practice dying every time we get on our mat. Savasana, corpse pose, is a way for yogis to get slowly comfortable with the idea of death.

We also get acquainted with the concept of death through some meditations. Taking the time to reflect on how precious our lives are is one of the greatest gifts we can get from these meditations. We also learn through them to slowly let go of attachment (link to attachment suffering), and it proves to be quite a challenge for me. In those moments, I like to think that I’m simply not good at dying, which is kind of reassuring.

However, even if I find it quite challenging, I believe it is still important to integrate death into our lives. Not only as major events when we lose someone we love, but also as a part of our everyday lives. On a daily basis, we encounter death in many ways, and aren’t simply receptive to it. In our surroundings, life’s everywhere, as well as death. We see it in physical ways, as plants, insects, or animals, die around us, but we can also think about it as something less material. When we make a difficult choice, when we have to choose between two of our core values, sometimes we have to let go of a part of us we care about. This part, somehow, might die eventually if we choose over and over to let it go. And that’s okay.

The more we accept to see death as part of life, the more alive our life become, since we are not rejecting a part of it anymore. Just like we cannot choose to feel only joy or happiness all the time, we have to accept that death is not something we can push aside, not something so exceptional that we refuse to think/talk about it.

I feel you here. I am afraid too. The great thing though about death is that we don’t know, and that since we don’t know, we get to choose the ending we want to imagine. I use it to reassure myself a lot. I like to think about it as a happy one, I choose to believe the people who say they’ve experienced it and came back, and say that death is indeed very peaceful. You get to choose your happy ending too. But before you get there, I am wishing you the most wonderful, fulfilling and authentic life possible.

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