Have you heard the saying, “Nobody gets out of here alive.”? As far as I can tell, that’s the truth. It’s the door at the end of every hallway, the final step of the dance; Death takes a bow right before every curtain comes down.
I “died” once. I recall watching in slow motion as my car sped towards the freeway wall and then…. I floated, like a feather in the breeze. I felt relief, like I’d just removed a shoe that was too tight, and I drifted, as though a gentle current held me lightly in its buoyant caress. I saw millions of lights, like fireflies, dancing on what seemed like a night sky. The voices sang a harmony that made one Voice, and the Voice soothed and comforted and reassured. I abided in peace and bliss for a timeless moment (or just under one minute if you count the seconds when the medics couldn’t find any vital signs).
When I came back into the focus of my body, I felt constricted and upset. I was confused.
For many weeks, as I healed and sorted through the variables of the accident – what had happened to my body and how my Life would change – I could still see the ‘fireflies’ flickering through the veil of what I had always thought before was a concrete reality. I heard them singing to me still in a Voice of love and encouragement. I felt them as a gentle buffer to the hard realities I faced. To this day – 27 years later – I feel Them with me.
“Death is part of the Life cycle.” I’ve heard that one, too. Death is pervasive in Life. We die many deaths, I think. Deaths of beliefs. deaths of relationships. Deaths of dreams. Life changes, and every change includes a death of “what was” to allow the possibility of “what can be” to emerge. Millions of cells in my body die by the hour. Much of what I choose to eat “died” to become part of my body….
Still, Death seems mostly uncomfortable in our culture; something out of our control and feared. It’s like Life is a beach party, and Death is the shark, potentially lurking unseen beneath the surface. Doctors fight to stave off Death. Death is the punishment for bad behavior. Death is the enemy….
And Death is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. It opened me into aspects of All I Am that had been hidden. Death gave me a gift of Perspective and a clarity that comes with it. I inject insulin every day since that car accident, and every day I choose Life with each injection. Death teaches me how I live is a choice.
I intend to squeeze as much life out Life as I can figure out to do, but I don’t call Death an enemy or fear the process of releasing and letting go. I understand Death is my friend, holding my hand through the shedding of skins and bringing me Home to a Vast Comfort between my adventures in Life.
There is no final curtain – only scene changes. And while some may choose to dance as slowly or imperceptably as possible to hold off the last step, I choose to dance with my whole heart and trust the music to keep me twirling as the tune changes.
And the beat goes on.
I love you. Thank you.