Barely a month and a half into 2014 and 6 friends or acquaintances have died.
Not just in the last six weeks, but before now and beyond, everyday for me there is a practice:
When I eat food, I say to myself, "Delicious! I feel so glad to be alive!" because, you know, one day… I'll be dead and I won't be able to.
When I feel the sun (or clouds) and the moonlight on my face, I conjure a surge of joy and gratitude in my body because one day... I won't be able to.
When I drink the waters or feel it on my skin, I'm so glad to be alive because one day... I won't be able to.
When I have sex, I'm pretty damn happy! Because one day... I won't be able to.
When I inhale the air deeply into my lungs on purpose, I feel so glad to be alive because one day... I won't be able to.
When I exercise my body, even when I know it will be sore the next day, I am so grateful because one day... I won't be able to.
When I hold my partner's hand, I purposely manifest an upwelling of Love in my body and pass it on to him. Because, you know, one day... I won't be able to. (Chances are, if I'm hugging you, I'm doing this then too. Also always towards plants, animals and other spirits.)
One day, this body of mine will stop pulsing and then disintegrate back into disparate bits of earth. So now, even when things are shitty. Even when I'm frustrated, have too many other things to do or I'm thinking too much about some unimportant thing, I make sure to create moments like the ones listed above; deeply aware of being alive in the present. Feeling the emotions fully and taking responsibility for them & my words and actions too. Gratitude for the entire thing; All That Is. The "good" and the "bad", within and without, above and below, the light and the dark. Every. Single. Day. Because I just don't know, maybe tomorrow or maybe 70 years from now, but one day I won't be able to do any of it anymore, ever again. Blessed Be.
While loss does make me sad, death itself is not a sad event to me. It's simply what we do; we live, we die. It's not helpful to dread or fear it, because that's really to dread and fear life itself. Life and death are one and the same and it's going to happen either way. It's beautiful even. In the end, death levels the playing field; we are all going to do it. And no matter how much we do or don't acquire; no matter how loudly or quietly we affect the world, no matter how well or poorly we treat each other, no matter how fearfully or lovingly we live our days and nights, no matter how many people remember us, or forget, we all go to the same place in the end.