What Death has taught me about Life

Photo by Watts Place

“and once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made I through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” – Haruki Murakami

I am still finding my way through this “storm” 6 months after my mom passed away, but for now these are some things death has taught me about life.

  1. Love is the greatest gift

If you have loved someone as much as I have loved (and love) my mother you will probably feel like the luckiest person in the world. If you have been able to experience pure unconditional love, you know what I am talking about. In this lifetime, I have been given the gift of knowing a Love so deep that I can’t put into words, and that now lives in my heart, mind and dreams forever. More than anything, her death has revealed the greatest truth of life: love is the greatest gift in the whole universe.

2. Life is not that serious

I have realized that I used to take life much too seriously. But, for what? What is worth taking too seriously? Almost nothing. We you hold someone’s hand until their last breath you can feel the lightness of life, the true essence of life. Our minds create density and heaviness when we take things too seriously and create unnecessary drama. But, the truth is that life is not serious at all, it is meant to be light and joyful.

3. The power of impermanence

For years I have read a lot about impermanence but only during the last months have I really began to understand it. Nothing lasts forever, no matter how much control you feel you have over something. At times the beauty actually lies in loosening the tight grasp you have on life, but I have much to work on attachment and impermanence yet. However, what I can honestly say is that nothing helps you understand the fleeting beauty of life more than death.

4. Compassion

I could have never guessed that this experience would bring with it such a huge wave of compassion toward other people who are suffering as well. Compassion has shattered the walls around my heart and it has expanded my awareness and softened my gaze far beyond myself. As paradoxical as it sounds, knowing and feeling into the depths of pain in myself and others, has also taken me into the depths of love in myself and others.

5. Prioritize what truly matters

Through embracing death, I was pointed to what it means to be alive. Aliveness for me has to do with opening my heart to deeply connect to myself, others, my purpose, as well as to something bigger. Being alive enough has awaken me to the truth that all there is is this moment and that we have the opportunity to experience the intricate beautiful details of life of right now if we pay attention.

6. Gratitude

I feel grateful for the life I had with her, for the abundance of love that connects us, for the laughs we shared, for the lessons I learned. I am grateful that now I have an angel watching over me that I can call mom. I am grateful for being alive, here in this moment, being able to share this.