Today we’re lucky enough to be able to quietly ignore most aspects of death — or at least, we have the option to. But is it better that way?
It wasn’t long ago that we couldn’t ignore death. We used to look after our dead and dying ourselves, within our communities. We didn’t have the option of hiring out that care and that work. It was part of our lives.
As we were able to hire people to do that work for us, we stopped doing it ourselves. As people started going to hospitals to die, we learned to shut our eyes and have someone else take it away. Death became this unknown, scary thing. No longer a normal part of life.
But we can’t avoid loss. It’s everywhere in life from divorce to losing your job, to pets passing away. And when those unfortunate events inevitably come, healing is about developing resilience by healthily embracing reality.
From my personal experience, embracing the reality of death means embracing all that comes with it. It isn’t all yellow flowers and sunshine and smiles. It’s about embracing that it’s hard, it can rip your heart out, it happens, and we can’t avoid it.
You don’t love somebody without there being a consequence that they’re no longer there to love. And if we can embrace all of that, it enriches our living lives as well.
I think it’s fair to say that people are generally uninterested or afraid of talking about death and dying, so when they’re faced with having to deal with it, they have very little knowledge about what to do or how it all works. They’re forced to learn quickly, at the worst possible time.
Right now there’s a movement of people trying to get other people to have these conversations.
More people are starting to learn how to deal with death. How to understand and be more comfortable with what’s going when you’re in the throes of it. More people are starting to learn the true value of ceremony and ritual in helping us through these times.
If you want to start this important conversation, KORU can be your guide.
We offer workshops in-person and virtually, and would be happy to add you to our invite list and we can refer you to other trusted partners in our community and beyond. Call 604-324-8285 or email us at [email protected] or fill in our “Contact Us” page on our website.
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“Open Door” photo courtesy of Arno Smit through Unsplash Photos