R.E.S.P.E.C.T – Why doesn’t death get any at all?
We celebrate birth. It’s a big deal. In fact we don’t just celebrate birth….. we also celebrate the anniversary of birth every single year. We congratulate each other on it, throw parties, buy presents. Yup birth is a big deal and we give it a great deal of respect.
And fair enough. It’s a very important marker in our story. It’s the first chapter in this life of ours. It’s where you began. At least this version of you anyway.
So what about that other important marker in your life? The last chapter. The closing ceremony. Your death. Do we celebrate that? Is that honoured and respected? Nope….not one bit. Death gets just about zero respect.
And if you’re thinking that’s not true and that death is treated with respect then consider this:
Tip-toeing around something isn’t respect. Whispering about it and not looking it in the eye isn’t respect. That’s just plain old fear. Very very different.
Imagine being at a friend’s party. And among all the attendees – friends and family – there are also all the important elements of life and all the valuable markers. Mr birthday, Ms Virginity, Miss Graduation, Mr First Love. And you’re there too. Then Mr Death rocks up to your friend’s party. Do you treat him with respect? Or instead with fear? Or with regret? You are probably shocked when he arrives (although he was always invited. It was just a matter of when he showed up). You might look away from him. You might commiserate with others that he is here. You might show your host sympathy, telling them how sorry you are that this particular guest has turned up. Respect? Not exactly. Because, unfortunately, we don’t see him as being just as valuable and important as other guests. We think he is bad, sad, has only turned up to make us unhappy, and that frankly he shouldn’t have come at all.
But the thing is he shows up to every party for a reason. He is not a bearer of misery. He is a barer of huge change and great lessons…and has wonderful powerful positive things to teach everybody. But having been brought up to understand he is all bad and the last guest you would want anything to do with, few people ever bother to ask him what he is really here for. Because he doesn’t come to the party just to take. He comes to bring some pretty amazing stuff too. But nobody seems to realise what he really wants to share…so he stands in the corner, sipping his drink alone, playing with his cell phone so he doesn’t look like a total loser.
I know that death has taken from you. But have you ever stopped to ask what it brought to you? What lessons it offered, what gifts it brought? And if you haven’t ever seen them it’s only because you haven’t ever looked. I assure you they are there.
Just take a break for a second from thinking it’s all bad – nothing is all bad – and ask yourself honestly what death has brought into your life. What new lessons? What new opportunities? Which people and relationships have been brought closer to you? You ask and answer this enough and I promise you your experience of loss, your grief, will change forever. Just ask yourself and come up with 3 things…no matter how small they might seem. It’s a very important start. Give it a try and let me know what you find.
As always I love to hear from you so please feel free to comment below or email me directly.