Death is the last taboo in our American culture, and spiritually, it’s killing us.
“The gift of death,” according to Stephen Jenkinson (a.k.a., the Griefwalker), “is life.” If there were no death, life would not be precious in its ephemerality. We would just take every day for granted.
Except, in our culture, that’s exactly what we do. We do everything possible to stave off and deny the eventuality of death. And it’s costing us our lives.
I’ve begun to use this in my relationship coaching and couples workshops to help create a sense of urgency. What if you were going to die on September 30th, 2013? This next, would be your last Thanksgiving, your last Christmas, your last Valentine’s Day. It would be the last time you’d see the crocus pop up in spring. I mean, wouldn’t you want to just spread out a blanket and watch that crocus for hours? Would you make sure you showered your children with love? Would you forgive your partner his/her past transgressions and desperately find a way to, one final time, really connect on a level you’d always dreamed might be possible?
You and I, I tell my clients, and now I’m telling you, have squandered our lives. We’ve spent most of it feeling like we have forever. We don’t. And we’ve squandered our relationships (at home, at work, with work). We dole out forgiveness and affection like there is a scarcity of it, and it needs to last forever. What a shameful waste!
The truth is, not everyone reading this even has until September 30th, 2013. “Not me!” you say. “I’ll still be here!” To which, I say, so what. You are still going to die, sooner or later, and probably sooner than you think. But are you really living now? What are you doing with your short time here on earth? What actions are you taking to make every moment count? When are you going to heal your relationships and your relationship with yourself?
What are you waiting for? Death is around the corner. Embrace it and rejoice!