I was asked to attend a funeral yesterday (of someone I didn’t know). I definitely wanted to go. Death has become a strange topic in our society. It’s a difficult one that brings many heavy emotions of pain and fear for many people. It creates a sense of anxiety and creepiness in most everyone’s reality. In time, we all will experience something that we pretend doesn’t exist, never talk about and immediately push out of our minds in order to avoid pain. We experience a completely unnatural way of viewing death. When a baby is born into this world and new life begins, there is love, excitement, celebration and joy. Life is rejoiced in as a new soul is welcomed to earth. Why is it that we have such a hard time letting go, yet it’s so easy for us to hold on. Everything in nature let’s go. Everything dies. Water evaporates, a seed eventually wilts after it’s cycle, anything that comes into being-whether a job, health problem, idea or relationship eventually lives out it’s intention or purpose and must return back to the void from which it came. Why is that so difficult for society to accept? Is it because we are afraid of the unknown? We don’t trust our source? We resist our own existence. To exist fully, is to accept the cycle of life and consciously live in it.
As I sat in the church listening to the prayers and staring at the white coffin, I realized that it was the winter solstice. How appropriate that this beautiful family was letting go of someone they loved on such a powerful day. I suppose that their pain is primarily due to the certainty and the finality of having to accept the void. A void is defined as an emptiness. A void presupposes that we are “bereft” of something that completes us or once filled us. So we feel empty. What a beautiful feeling to be bare, naked and pure in acceptance of the cycle of life. Death is the ultimate teacher. We have many relationships, experiences and phases that “teach us” our life lessons that we have come here to learn. But none is so great as death. What we fear and resist is the only way we can truly accept our greatness and our wholeness.
Winter is symbolic of death. It is the most beautiful time of the year because we go within and face who we are, where we’re at, where we want to go. It is a period of reflection, where we examine our experiences from the year and let go of that which did not serve us. We begin to gain a greater perspective on the possibilities that lie dormant within us and want to be birthed in the near future, or Spring. As this winter solstice covers us, we must learn to shed the things that we have held on to to protect ourselves: fears, false beliefs, pain, unforgiveness, the things that no longer serve us. As we learn to let go, we make room for the spirit to fill us with a greatness so profound-death, our greatest teacher.