To die is to sail on, not an end, nor a tragedy. Death should not happen alone, in secret, or be treated as shameful for all of us will die; some soon, and some after five score years or more, like my father. If as a society and a species we put the well being of all ahead of the advancement of the few and the acquisition of wealth and power, I truly believe many, or not most diseases and famines would be preventable. There is such a thing as collective free agency in addition to individual free agency. While I wish Marc were still here in the flesh (there is nothing better than hugging the one you love – do it often) we are not separated and all is well with him. I have the comfort of knowing that I did all I could, even putting aside my livelihood between his diagnosis and his death – and bringing to light a genetic anomalie which, if fully studied, may help many. Therefore, the photo of the mishoom (wampanoag for boat) and the great, wild bird taking flight will speak for my heart for now.
Many years ago, a prophet facing his own death, and longing more than anything for safety and freedom and to be able to care for his children prayed for deliverance. Rather than deliverance, our God informed the prophet that everything, the howling mob, separation from his family, and his own coming death were in fact part of his progression, and gifts.
My challenge going forward will be to choose that Marc’s death not lead to me becoming bitter or depressed, but rather lead to an increase in my ability to love, and spiritual growth. Besides, if I choose to ask “what can I learn from this” and “how can I grow” I remain far more likely to reunite with Marc across the dark river in the Lands of Light.
And to all of you, if collectively we treat death and dying not as shameful secrets, but as an honored part of life that all will experience, there will be less fear, more love, and more light for all of us. And just maybe, a cleansing of social priorities – what I sometimes call collective free agency.