In our culture we have come to fear death and we tend to view talking about it as “morbid” and “depressing”. With our belief in the power of technology to overcome the forces of nature, we have come to view old age and death as a kind of enemy, something that needs to be vanquished. We have bestowed increasing importance upon the power of our mind and have lost touch with the heart’s ability to embrace the void, the darkness, the great mystery. This approach brings with it a profound fear in the face of an unconquerable force that is an integral part of life itself. And so, in our fear, we turn away from death, this great teacher about life. We rob ourselves of the opportunity to experience a peaceful death.
How can we return to the perspectives and practices that allow us to relate to death in a balanced way? We can challenge the taboo of this subject as “morbid” and speak honestly about our feelings and experiences of dearth. We can recognize death as community experience as well as an individual journey. We can relate to death as a masterful teacher about life. We can accept the strong emotions that arise in relation to death and allow them to move us through this powerful transition with grace and dignity.
Join Prema Sheerin, head of the Sacred Fire Community’s Death and Dying council for this evening around the fire where you can share your experiences and feeling about death, listen to the wisdom of others, and ask any questions that are important to you.