Through my work as a bereavement counsellor at a hospice and as a funeral celebrant, I have developed a passion for the cycle of life, which includes birth and death.
Death is unmentionable and many of us refrain from engaging. We don’t know what is going to happen and we often think: 'I will deal with that when it comes'. As a way to overcome the fear of death and the unknown, it can be revealing to accept that our lives will end one day. It may be of great service to ourselves to express our fears for illness and death and prepare ourselves when we are still well.
I am inspired by the Buddhist wisdom that teaches us how we can be aware of ‘impermanence’, the notion that our lives are finite. Some of us believe that there is some kind of afterlife through religious or spiritual beliefs or perhaps our souls re-enter the earth in a new life. These beliefs help us to cope with the fears.
We learn from the Buddhist to ‘practise’ all endings and new beginnings in our lives we learn how to deal with the pain and loss. We could go through all our endings consciously for example ending a calendar year or a year of life, a holiday, a job. There can be a moment to embrace all experiences and celebrate the things that were good. We look at things that were not so good with love and compassion. Being grateful for what was and is and make meaning of what is lost. Being with this with heart and soul allows healing to occur and the reassurance that a new beginning with new opportunities has come.