Alan watts the Eastern Philosopher, wisely suggested we should contemplate our death, “imagine going to sleep and never waking up”. I know this sounds rather gloomy. Feel free to call me Miss Misery, I’m a huge fan of this form of meditation and here is why.
Since my childhood I’ve had a bizarre preoccupation towards death, I’m grateful for discovering the beautiful existential Psychotherapist Irvine Yolum, who suggests in order to overcome the fear of death, we need to face it. Yolum turned what I considered weird, into a powerful skill.
I find it profoundly enchanting to reflect upon how life has brought some of my greatest teachings, wrapped in the darkest of circumstances, let me scratch a little deeper for you
I was a happy 8year old girl when my granny died. When granny left, my world fell to pieces. My granny loved me, which was clearly important to me, she also taught me stuff and made me feel safe. When Granny died, the sunshine went with her and stole my mother’s soul.
My poor mum had lost both of her parents by the time she reached her 30s and life offered her no time to grieve, with two young children to raise, a full-time job working in psychiatry, alongside her mentally ill brother, who went right off his rocker on the grandest scale after his mother’s departure.
Mum ate her pain and did her best for all she cared for, “I often think of your pain mum during this time with watery eyes and sadness in my heart”.
While mum was knee deep in the soul swamplands, I found solace in the graveyard. I visited the cemetery daily and quickly developed a routine.
Step one, fill up the water cans and clean several unkempt graves.
Step two, talk to Alexia Bolton, a lady who had died many years before mine had started, she lay alone in the cemetery, I wanted to let her know, another Alexia was here on earth caring for her, her grave was mossy and covered in various lifeforms.
Step three, was clean all my ancestor’s graves
Step four, was sit at granny’s grave and talk to her, in the hope I would convince her to come back, bringing the sunshine to mums soul.
After two years, I gave up on granny.
Despite not getting granny back and no response from Alexia Bolton, I do have a vivid memory of the watery figure of a well-dressed man wandering around the graveyard, I knew he wasn’t from this world, and felt scared of him yet soothed at the same time.
The ghostly Man and I never spoke but we have crossed paths many times throughout my life, I have no idea who he is, but he seemed harmless. Our final meeting was when I was 26 and he scared the living daylights out of me and I don’t recall seeing him again. (I’ll tell that story another day)
At the age of 23 years, I thought my life would end soon, due to many variables, but mostly because I was a total fuck up, a waste of space, I was getting the whole living thing terribly wrong.
I battled and scrambled to my 25th year to be disappointed to still be here, I spent most days time wishing death would hurry up and save me, and give everyone I knew a God damn break including my kids, life back then was brutal. Thanks to my boyfriend at the time, I’ll call him O.
O forced me to face death, sometimes daily, other times weekly, he was cruel and sadistic with a passion towards punishment.
O recreated his deep wounds upon me repeatedly,
“I could never get it right for you O, you set me up to fail, I don’t hold any anger or hate towards you, I see the bigger picture. Your wounds run deep, deeper than mine. I hope you find peace one day. I thank you for not killing me, I’m grateful to you for taking me to the dark places. I hope I helped you work some stuff out too. I do not forgive you, there is nothing to forgive, I accept all that occurred, I know our worlds collided for bigger reasons.”
Well, I did live beyond 30 years, I’m approaching my 46th year. O survived too, but he’s in prison, he needed that time out, to rethink his life strategies because as he kept hurting women.
I lost my best friend, My Dear Mother in December 2017. Despite feeling utterly abandoned, somehow, I’ve regathered my shattered soul from the brutal loss of her leaving me, I’ve clung onto our happy memories.
My philosophical approach to losing my mother I believe, is a result of being so mindful and present with death on a regular basis.
My relationship with death wouldn’t allow the denial of death as an option, and this enabled me to make sure every opportunity I had, I let mum know I valued and loved her deeply.
A few months before she died, Mum and I had the deepest heart to heart, we cried as we apologised to each other for past hurts and disappointments, making it clear towards the end of our snot sniffling love chat, that neither of us needed to apologise.
Mum and I understood we needed each other and our crazy shit and immense love to walk our journeys as soul sisters. We knew the title of Mother and Daughter are human constructs, and we transcended that notion for a short while before she departed.
Our lives mirrored each other in many ways, probably as a result of our shared belief systems. Mother and I fucked each other over unknowingly on many occasions and saved each other a thousand times more in heroic ways with a twist of lunacy.
Death sits on our left shoulder we fail to notice it, thanks to unconscious denial. Yet strangely we really do know, “death is life and life is death”.
We all observe the dance of life and death, in varying degrees in our daily lives. Death is ever-present, every day people, animals and plants die in our vicinity, without death, life would not exist.
Life and death are interdependent…
It’s wise to remind ourselves that in our body millions of cells die every day, to be replaced by fresh ones, a seamless flow of being and not being, transformation and change, which is really very beautiful.
At some point, the bell of death rings and claims our short existence, yet despite knowing this, we struggle when death takes those who we treasure away from us.
Losing Mother forced me to see a truth, which I have hidden from all my life. The truth was, “I’m truly alone” and uncomfortable as that is, it’s somewhat liberating.
Me and Mum a year before she died. ❤️
Before you die, enjoy life best you can.
Drop me a like or a comment if this post touch’s you in some way, it is very encouraging for me.