Hey you! Yes you, reading this! Guess what? We have to inform you … you are going to die. But then again, so are we.
Death. The plight we all have in common. 100% of the people you ever meet will die. All 100% of them. How many other things can you assign that kind of number to?
Yet, regardless of this being the one great equalizer, fear of death, the fact of our mortality, is something most of us skirt around for more of our lives than not. Even the so-called ‘modern traditional funeral practices’ of the US skirt around Death, using phrases like “Dearly departed,” “deceased,” and the wonderfully avoidant “slumber room.” Puh-lease! As if we don’t all know what we are really talking about. It is kind of hard to hide that big giant elephant in the room! Yet still, we do it. What is up with that?
I will tell you what is up with that. When we allow ourselves to be disenfranchised, when we become ignorant about a deeply important and human reality, and turn it over to ‘experts’ who have created a coded language for the entire reality, we give up our power. We put ourselves into a position of weakness. And ultimately, we pay the price. Ask any American who has recently picked up the tab for a funeral, and they can tell you it is a hefty price, at that. However – it goes deeper. Modern funeral practices are not only emptying our pockets, they are filling our soil, with really awful stuff, such as the carcinogenic embalming fluid, and a crazy amount of wood, steel, and concrete. However – that isn’t the highest price we pay. Not by a long shot.
When we disenfranchise ourselves from the ultimate reality of our mortality, we live our days as if in a shadow. The fear of the unknown, of the great beyond, and everything that happens around it, casts a darkness over our days. We hesitate. We develop a fear culture. And this, subsequently, impacts the very way we live our lives.
A fascinating study published back in November of 2007 found that those who face the reality of their ultimate eventual death are actually HAPPIER. This isn’t a mistake, it is very true. Think about – once you face the big unknown, your greatest fear, you are free. Free to face life, to live more fully. To carpe the heck out of your diems!
At our Salon Mort events, and reports from our end-of-life doula graduates all demonstrate this to be true. While some will experience a bit of discomfort initially, the majority of people report feeling freer, and becoming more active than they’ve been in years, once they’ve explored the idea of their eventual demise, and talked honestly and openly of death, mortality, and the fact of its inevitability for all of us. They report moving through the ‘stuck’ areas of their life, suddenly, and quickly thereafter.
The Death Positive Movement has sprung up, largely in response to this reality – or maybe because you can only repress certain very human facts of life for so long. The movement focuses on talking openly about the reality of death. De-mystifying it. Addressing it. So as you can imagine, we here at Momdoulary’s Passages program hosted at Mourning Doula, definitely are big supporters of thinking in terms of Death Positivity.
What can be more beneficial, than owning your reality, and making best decisions because of it?
Keep your eyes on our blog – you will see a number of posts on this topic in time.
In the meantime – explore your own feelings about the subject. Talk openly with family and friends. To live without fear is to live with light, to live free. May you find the freedom to indeed, carpe the daylights out of your diems. Make every one count – we never know how many we have left, time to make the most of them.