A friend recently asked how my writing was going – she hadn’t heard anything of late. I wrote back “I don’t seem to have anything to say at present” . . . but today I feel I do!
I think we would all agree that we are in challenging times, globally and personally. The times seem to be eliciting two responses. On the one hand I observe anger at the ‘perpetrators’ and / or reaching for a ‘saviour’ of some description. On the other hand I see a determination to ‘be the change’ – to do the individual inner work that creates the ground for a new way of living, for the many.
As death approaches, these same responses are often evident – an outward grasping for a cure, or for someone or something to blame, or an inward movement towards acceptance of what is, and reconciliation with others.
Stephen Jenkinson reminds us often of the need to “do the work of dying”. Right now I believe we’re being called to ‘do the work of living’.
I agree with Mattias Desmet whom I understand to be saying that the turmoil we are going through at present, and may do so for some time yet, holds the deepest possibility for our becoming all we can be – for finding the real depth and breadth of what it means to be human. And this is about connection – to our inner essence, to each other, to the natural world around us, and to the Mystery that lies behind life.
This has me wanting to say: Blessings on all that is happening! Blessings on us all as we navigate life, here, now!
Succinctly put, thank you!
Thanks Margaret. That second to last paragraph resonates, well with me. Especially as I’m writing a short piece on Living in my 80’s…
A short read, but a succint one! Reminder of the privilege to be alive in these rapidy changing times. Thank you, Margaret.
Blessings to you as well, Margaret. I agree with what you write here. And yes, words are becoming more and more futile, although I know that a good spiritual text can help me a lot when I feel that I am lost.
Love to you
Interesting and short enough to read at work break, thanks!
The ‘outward grasping for a cure’ really touched me, mostly because of my work and made me intensely wish that for me ( when the time comes) , it would not be so
I am touched by your wish, Anita.
Yes I concur – the challenge is how to engage with a collapsing /warring atomized society…
What comes for me, Lorene, is “from the heart”. Blessings to you too.
Your opening comment reminds me of having recently read, “Blessed is the man who having nothing to say, abstains from giving in words evidence of the fact.” (George Eliot, 1819-1880), not that this is particularly profound or even a worthwhile addition to a far more serious moment Margaret. On a more personal footing must mention that my dear sister died earlier this month and we used the booklet I wrote to do our own funeral without funeral industry professionals – a wonderful opportunity to keep ourselves where we are. (The booklets are still lasting out and indeed going out). Everything went just as we wanted it and a fine day added to our gratitude a further blessing for us. With every warmth of heart.
With every warmth of heart from us both!
Dear Philip. I find it very poignant that you used your very own book and found it so helpful! Sending every warmth of the heart to you and your wife as you grieve the death of your sister.
(Philip’s book is indeed a wonderful resource . I always keep copies on hand. It is called: Arranging a Funeral – what you can do yourselves – A New Zealand Guide. Author: Philip Tomlinson)
Tena koe Margaret,
After the very recent loss of my brother. It was a big shock.
These questions were on my mind during the tangi. Why is there even sickness and suffering, and when its our time, its time to go. Facing death and everlasting life. Acceptance and trust in a greater plan. These are concepts that we consider in times of bereavment.
I love that you address these questions and continue the conversation surrounding the loss of loved ones or death in general. Subjects people find uncomfortable to face.
Nga mihi aroha nui kia koe Margaret
I am very sorry to hear of the death of your brother, Dan. And I am glad you find value in a continuing conversation around the big questions that face us in life, especially in the face of death. Arohanui. Margaret
Thank you, as ever, dear Margaret for your words, and for pointing me towards Mattias Desmet’s work. “Doing the work of living/dying” has been joyfully enhanced recently via the WeCroak App – inspired by a Bhutanes folk saying: “To be happy a person must contemplate death 5 times a day”. There is something about the message at 5 random times a day “Reminder – don’t forget, you’re going to die” which I always hear in such a cheery voice in my head when I read it – followed by a quote from a poet, philosopher or notable thinker that I find delightful! https://www.wecroak.com
That’s delightful, Jane. I’ll watch and see if “Yeah, we croak” comes up in my conversations with self and others!