I'm sure you can relate when I say that I used to ponder over death quite A LOT(!!) as a kid. It was just one big confusing concept that was never really explained. I tried to settle with it being like going to sleep and never waking up, but then I had my head filled with Hollywood-drama, showing that how it's an unbelievably painful experience where you struggle like nothing else. So I soon was not at peace with the concept anymore. In a religious sense, I found the whole thing confusing - could someone tell me the one process that happens when you die?? There seemed to be so many theories, but not one answer.
This year I started reading the Jennifer Worth book 'In The Midst of Life', which shares many stories of death in the 1960s England. If anything this has been more of a comfort to read, sure some of the stories are rather miserable and you wouldn't want that death for yourself, but what the book does is put the human back in dying. Hardly a mystery, considering they are real stories in immense detail like they only happened yesterday. But what Jennifer does so well is, explains through the pages and pages of stories, that death is a calm expereience, where the person (almost always) just slips away. There's no big struggle with life, taking a piercing last breath, rather it just happens. She makes death appear as easy as taking another step, yet this time, it's just one to another phase of that person's journey. Or at least their soul's journey.
Through reading this book as well as learning a lot more about the mind/body relationship over this year, I'm so at peace with whatever is found beyond life, because for once I am certain that there is something, rather than a faint possibility.
When I went to church with my family as a young kid, I would often hear of how so-and-so had passed away at sharing time. Since they had probably gone to church for most of their life, I assumed that their faith was strong, hence wondering where they thought they were going after they passed away. That is if they were thinking at all. But we all have the capacity to doubt, doubt our faith or beliefs in times of danger - so I wouldn't blame anyone who knew they were dying to doubt if the path for them was in fact laid out.
But some say that just the process of dying brings you to a somewhat spiritual state anyway. That your mind starts to exit the body and it's not a completely separate experience, that is being dead and being alive.
Anyway, that's today's dose of reflection.