This is a tender post. Over the last few years, I’ve started to reconcile my fear of others dear to me dying. I used to be terrified of my parents dying. My dad remembers when I was in middle school and we were traveling with my soccer team to a tournament in North Carolina. My dad was getting dressed and I saw gray hair on his chest (he was all of 40 or so!). “Dad!” I cried with tears streaming down my face, “You are dying!”
Ever since I can remember, I had been scared of my parents dying. Past life stuff, stuff from this life…doesn’t matter the source, really. All I know is that the fear of them dying kept me frozen. It kept me from living. It made me hold back. In most of my relationships.
That fear is losing its grip on me. Little by little. And oddly enough, this comes at a time when my parents are aging. Dad retires this month.
I have always believed in a Divine presence. I’ve never needed to “know” what “comes after death” in this lifetime. I do not think ANY one religion has the monopoly on truth when it comes to “the after-life.” I have always just known that whatever happens, it has to be lovely. And gentle. It’s home.
But we can know something and still not be “healed.” Information — in the form of a thought, knowledge, or even a cognitive belief — informs. It doesn’t heal.
Healing happens in our bodies. It is here, in our cells, in our tissues, in our nervous systems, in our BODIES that we hold all our memories, experiences, interactions. It is in our bodies that we hold the fears (and joys) that arise out of those experiences. So, it is IN THE BODY where we “go” to heal these tender wounds.
Noticing what arises when we become fearful. Noticing the sensations that arise. Breathing. Allowing. Holding each image that arises with gentleness, as though we were holding a small child. Giving it all a lot of spaciousness. Connecting to our hearts. Allowing the body to do what it needs to do.
Mindfulness. Radical acceptance. Spaciousness. Gentleness.
Doing very little.
These are healing balm. This is how any fear dissolves.
It’s not through analyzing our fears or dissecting them. It’s feeling them in our bodies. And letting the body’s innate wisdom to do what it needs to do.
Our mainstream culture fears death. We are “sold” every day on ways to preserve and hang on to youth. But this keeps us in denial that we will all meet death. You, me, those dear to us. We will all meet death.
Instead of being frozen with fear, I find that I am thawing out. I am beginning to LIVE this one precious, wild life, with total clarity that death will meet me some day.
And I hope that my last breath is the same as this one I take right now: full of gratitude and true contentment. I hope that I have lived a life of being ALIVE and tender. I hope I have followed the delights of my heart with no regrets…surrendering and “birthing” into Home.