Friday, 29 October 2010

Suffering and Death

It seems that lately there have been many friends, both within and outside the Unitarian movement that are currently either physically nursing or watching sick relatives or friends who are aware of their own mortality reaching its end. Such times in our lives fill us with fears for what is to come.

Watching someone you love suffering is a painful enough experience. Being the one who awaits their own end is often fearful, and the knowledge of leaving this life appears non-comprehensible. No words or actions can take those fears away, they are natural to our survival instinct. Very few can truly lay down their armour and fully accept the inevitable. Few of us are really that brave.

Death itself is a rebirth, a new beginning, a journey we are all destined to make. Our fear of it is based purely on lack of knowledge. We are a race that finds blackness and fear in the things we do not understand. No matter how long our race exists into the future, this riddle will never be solved, ‘what lies beyond?’

Many can relay stories of ‘being there’ at the final moments of loved ones who have taken the journey. Stories of how, those who have died, even in the most retched of agony, demonstrated a ‘peace’ which appeared to wash over them as they slipped away. These are the moments we should take notice of, for they are the only glimpse we are given of “the passage”.

Death must come. It is the eternal promise. For those who are left behind, the non acceptance of it is from Love. The sadness of death is our longing to keep the ones we love with us. While watching the suffering, which often comes before death, there is an urgency to ‘be there’ for them. All too often, the opportunity to ‘be there’ for someone is not given to us, which adds to the hurt of that person leaving our lives.

Surely this urgency, this need to ‘be there’ comes from our soul knowing that to feel love overcomes all. Being able to demonstrate with strength, laughter, tears or even silence that there is pure love for that person will make their soul rejoice even during the most painful of times.

It wouldn’t be right to imagine that in ‘not being there’ we have failed the ones we lose. The soul continues and will feel our love long after it has left the flesh, long into eternity. It is never too late to allow our hearts to speak to those who have departed.

The underlying factor of our hurts in life lay with the very thing we all seek ..... ‘love’. It is the most beautiful and the most painful of emotions and yet, without it, our race would shrivel into oblivion.

Do not be afraid to love. The ache of it is our proof of life. To accept it from others is truly a divine privilege, but to give it to others is testimony to our own divinity, giving us a worth that proclaims we are creatures of survival and we will uphold our race with an emotion that can truly conquer all.

By giving love, when our time comes to make the journey into the unknown, we will have generated enough food for our souls to make a safe and comfortable passage into the beyond.

It matters not whether we believe in God or gods or spiritual guides or nothing at all. The love we give will be returned to us in the end and, although the body is destined to fail at some point, our essence will remain.

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