Death is such a touchy subject and so hard for people to hear a grieving person talk. Every person has been touched by death and we are so much better equipped for healing if we can talk about our feelings. If we can feel our feelings and not shove them down.
I like to observe our human behaviors and determine if there is an easier way, a more honest way to talk and process as we all become more evolved as a species.
In general, I believe our society doesn’t want to age, let alone die, so people don’t like to talk about death because it makes them uncomfortable. I love to talk about all the stuff you’re not supposed to. I love deep conversations where we get down to the nitty gritty. That’s where healing takes place. The place where dark secrets come out, the place where deep and compassionate listening takes place. Sometimes those “stories” just need to be said out loud so that they can dissipate.
Last week, we had to put my dog, Misha to sleep. I have never experienced such a deep, unconditional love that she gave to me in my life. We buried her at home and the grief that my three cats displayed was beautiful and heart wrenching. I am glad I was a witness to their grief so that I could console them.
I could feel their feelings and what they were thinking. It was amazing. My oldest cat, Chickie, was meowing loudly as my husband, Michael, buried our sweet love. Chickie is the same age as Misha and feeling pretty crappy herself. I could feel her saying, “Oh crap! Crap! Misha! Crap! (Crap! I’m next!)”
Bobby, 2 1/2, wide eyed, mouth open… “What Happened?? WHAT happened????“ Donny, 4 months, “What happened to my friend?? Why is she under there? What happened??” I could feel their feelings, their questions, their fears, their grief. Wow.
Even though this experience was intense, I am honored to be part of holding space for us all to process. I know she’s in a better place and all that crap that we like to say, but for now I want to dwell in the sadness as I turn over each memory. I want to remember every detail of her. I want to remember her plush fur, her compassionate eyes that would twinkle when she thought something was fun or funny. I want to remember her cute snout and sweet ears and her squiggly, wiggly tail. I want to remember how she would roll over and show her belly for massages every time I walked by. Who will eat the carrots and the cucumbers as I make the salad? How will I live without drool on the floor?
Death comes in many forms. Death of a marriage, death of a loved one, small “deaths” of our bodies as we age or become injured. I’m learning as I go through these deaths as they happen around me or to me that what seems to be the most comforting is to let the person have their feelings and say what they want to say. We mostly need a compassionate ear and a quiet mouth that murmurs support. We all know they’re in a better place, and that it will get easier. But, when we’re in it, we just want to feel it. We need to feel it. It’s how we heal.
Let’s not be afraid to feel. To cry. To hug. To love fully, even though sometimes, it hurts. These are the circles and cycles of life and death.
“It bothers me that we’ve developed a culture that denies mortality and that so many are terrified of the end of life.” ~ Claire Rayner
“My dream is to die in a tub of ice cream, with Mel Gibson.” ~ Joan Rivers