Recently I have been told that a close family member’s death is imminent. Obviously I am absolutely devastated; sad doesn’t even touch the sides, and I cried lots when I heard the news. The first thing I did after this was contact my family and see how they were doing. I showered, got dressed, took things I would need and went to see my family.
On the way I stopped in my car and asked myself why is it that it takes death or a serious accident, illness or disease to bring people and or families together, or even bring them to their knees? When for years, decades or lifetimes we can treat each other like rubbish? And I don’t just mean immediate families.
We have arguments at work, in our relationships, with friends, or even get annoyed or affected by someone in a supermarket or driving past in a car. Why do we let all these things bother us, not to mention the things we do to ourselves, all the meaningless issues we create, dilemmas, dramas, complications and woes; what will I wear today, what food should I eat, should I eat this or that, when really all we are doing is self-indulging. Do we ever stop to feel how this is affecting people?
The event of my family member’s imminent passing made me realise that I’m not going to do this anymore, it is simply not worth it, but rather I am, to my best intent, not going to react or need people to be a certain way, I am not going to spend hours in my head (and that’s a big one for me) debating over things such as food, or what I should or should not do or eat. I am going to allow people to be, I am going to allow myself to observe and learn. If people choose to argue, fight or create their own issues or woes, that is their choice.
But to the best of my intent, as I’m not perfect, I am not going to be a part of what I now realise is not what is truly important in life – I am not going to get involved anymore: I have done this for far too long a time and it’s exhausting and not a supportive or loving way to live, for anybody.
All this also got me thinking about love. Why is it when someone is close to death that we tend let go of all the past, all the issues, all the stuff we have held onto, sometimes for years, the hurt, the times when they may have not chosen to be loving to us, or anything we may have held against them?
Instead, a different mode kicks in and we simply love them for who they are, be it our sister, mum, dad, friend or complete stranger. In this we see all their true divine qualities, in my case an absolute heart of gold, deep care and love for people, a playfulness, a quick and wicked sense of humour, not to mention a no-nonsense person who is deeply tender, caring, sensitive, delicate, beautiful, fragile, precious and divine.
So if we can let go of this in death, why can’t we let go of it in life? Why do we spend our lives not loving people or ourselves, instead seeing ourselves and other people for everything they are not? Rather than the precious, divine and delicate beings we all equally are.
But is death really the end?
Yes I am deeply sad, and yes I am devastated, but this process has made me stop and realise, even though I know the truth of reincarnation and this is not the end for the essence of this person, I was still thinking in a way it was, instead of the truth I’ve now experienced that illness, disease and ultimately death and passing over is actually an opportunity to evolve for everyone involved, and never is it the end.
By Gyl Rae, 39, Teacher, Scotland