What if there was no mystery surrounding death? What if the real mystery to be solved is in learning how to live through the many physical and metaphorical deaths we encounter in this life? After completing a workshop on the “Nature of Mortality,” I was reminded of what is so easy to forget—that we are each unique, with problems stemming from things that no one can assume to understand or fix; and that we can each view the same things differently—including physical death. So then, who’s the teacher? Through workshop participants’ reflection and sharing, I was reminded the teacher is within!
Our facilitator, Cathy Gawlik, skillfully drew us within through handouts of poems to which we attendees underlined words that stood out for each of us. Then we reacted to our selected words with pen in hand on paper. I was surprised how the ink flowed onto my paper from underlining these closing words in a poem by Rumi, “…I cannot say the flavor of my being apart.” Paradoxically, what I wrote does capture the flavor of how it now feels being apart from my husband who died in 1975.
"The void between us is so vast and yet is non-existent.
The pain, so intense, somehow bridged the gap.
Slow healing drew a veil on the one life we shared."
Maybe death is the Ultimate Facilitator. It encourages me to make meaning out of life. It reveals my heart--both its grace and need. There I can converse with mystery, with God, in whom I place my trust. And there I can rejoice with those who have already melted into the sun and are dancing.
What if we all took time to reflect on the many deaths we experienced and therein find new life?