Chapter 24

Dealing with Death

Serenity is rooted in acceptance of the essential goodness of the universe. Nothing challenges such a philosophy more than the death of someone we love. Yet only when we view the world in this perspective can we accept loss. There are two truths that enable us to continue to believe in the fundamental goodness of life even in the face of death: first, that there is reality beyond the observable facts of our existence, and second, that we never lose the power to hold in our hearts the essence of whomever we love.

Children react to death from an entirely personal and immediate standpoint. If there is a loss of someone upon whom young people are dependent, they feel total devastation. Facing a problem for which they are almost completely unprepared seems impossible. Only when we come to hold a broad perspective of existence can we accept death with equanimity. Only then can we look beyond the present circumstance and find peace.

We are part of a comprehensive reality that links us with the world around us and goes beyond the objective facts of our existence. The external or physical aspect of our lives is only one manifestation of our essentially spiritual being. Life experience, with its moments of connection to a power greater than ourselves, leads us to conclude this must be so. And we know that even in death, the spirit of those we have loved continues to live as part of us and of every aspect of life they have known. This gives us confidence that, like all spiritual realities, they exist at a level beyond our grasp.

We can also find consolation and hope in the realization that within each spiritual being lies the power to nourish and maintain love for someone who is no longer physically present in our lives. Parents who are separated from their children feel no lessening of affection and care. Friends separated by decades often feel a sense of not having been apart at all at the time of a reunion. Once loving ties have been created, each consciousness has the ability to sustain these feelings. Remembrances of happy times, of problems overcome, of gestures of affection—all such thoughts give life to the love we carry with us. And why should they not be carried in the same way within the spirit of those we have loved?

We live in a universe that holds truths far beyond our understanding. Yet we can come to understand that each spirit continues to exist on many levels even after death. We take comfort in knowing that all those who have touched us continue to live as part of what we are. In this way we can accept the process of dying. The love we hold within lets us turn from our loss, bringing new life to days and, one day, sweet dreams.

PAST JOYS WALK with HIM

Part of life left him
on the brightest of days
and rain-filled nights
flowed into the coolness of dawn

Till lost life could touch him
in the deepest of dreams
and feel him respond
in gentle farewell.

Then past joys walked with him
away from the loss
bringing new life to day
love’s quiet and sweet dreams.

AFFIRMATION

The universe embraces every spirit that I love, uniting me with all existence as part of a divine whole.

I open my mind and heart to the inner knowing that teaches me to accept the passing of life into another plane of existence. I listen to the lessons of an understanding greater than myself and learn that life reaches beyond the realities we know.

The higher power that comforts me is a reality beyond this level of existence. Its loving embrace reaches to every spirit and brings us peace.

 

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