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Death and Healing

Sit down before fact
like a little child,
and be prepared to give up
every preconceived notion,
follow humbly wherever
and to whatever abyss
nature leads,
or you shall learn nothing.

— T.H. Huxley

Death is the ultimate mystery for us all. With all our philosophies and religions no one really knows what, if anything, lies beyond death. It is a journey that each of us must make. No matter how much money, power, or prestige one has acquired during their lives they cannot avoid it, and in the end must give up everything they have spent their whole lives working for.

If everyone consciously accepted death as part of life, our society would be very different. Unfortunately, death in our Western culture is largely ignored or hidden. For the most part we live our lives in a desperate attempt to "make life better" without putting any thought into the inevitability of death or the meaning of life or why we are here.

When we are stricken with a serious or "terminal" illness however, or experience the death of someone close to us such as a mate, we are shaken from our stupor and almost forced to examine these issues. Because our culture is based in denial of death, resources for truly investigating these issues are sometimes hard to come by. Without the awareness of our eventual death, how are we to make wise decisions on what to do with our life? This web page was created to provide some resources that might be helpful in your search. Death can be a time of great healing, of letting go, even of joyfulness. Best wishes to you on your path.

Is Life the Incurable Disease?

Is life the incurable disease?
The infant is born howling
& we laugh,
the dead man smiles
& we cry,
resisting the passage,
always resisting the passage,
that turns life
into eternity.

Blake sang alleluias
on his deathbed.
My own grandmother,
hardly a poet at all,
as we'd never seen her smile
Perhaps the dress of flesh
is no more than a familiar garment
that grows looser as one diets
on death, & perhaps we discard it
or give it to the poor in spirit,
who have not learned yet
what blessing it is
to go naked?

Erica Jong



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