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Live Well and Die Simply

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"We often wonder how death will occur for us. Through illness, accident, war, or a natural disaster? Will our deaths happen suddenly or gradually? There are no answers for these questions, so we really should not spend time worrying about them. We don't know how our lives will end, and this is a blessed ignorance! But there is an important question that we should consider: When our time to die comes, will we die in such a way that those we leave behind are not devastated by grief or left with feelings of shame or guilt?

How we leave others depends largely on how we prepare ourselves for death. When we can die with grateful hearts, grateful to God and our families and friends, our deaths can become sources of life for others."
--Henri Nouwen

I look at transition periods in life as a type of death; wringing out the old, used up stuff to make room to soak in new life. I'm going through a long death these days; I've had some health issues that've resulted in some of my freedom being taken away temporarily. It's hard to not live your life--even when there is an end to having no life in sight; it's hard to find new ways to express yourself in the venue of a life you never invisioned for you.

Old habits cropped up again for me there for a while (like serious lack of portion control and junk food consumption); it becomes clear to me that when we crumble, we risk losing everything we've worked for--unless our work is supported in the right foundation. If all this effort is coming out of a sincere and endless and ardent and ever passionate love for self--you're gonna be OK, kiddo.

I've been annoyed lately at the shortness I sometimes treat my parents with these days, but I think that I need to allow room for error. I'm not perfect lately, in case I haven't noticed, and I can't expect to treat everyone with the humble adoration of the Divine Spirit dwelling in them all the time, as I would like. I also have to be honest with myself; I must cry and wail and laugh and hug and despair and hope like anybody else; I must live well as I am where I am.

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