Marching Toward Death

Marching Toward Death

Who would want to read an article with “death” in the title?
It’s a risk. And I put it there because it is so pressing on my awareness.

Noticing the closeness of death has been amplified by buying a new house. How many years I might be in that house? How old will I be in 20 years, in 30 years? Oh! …Starkly, I can see the end. What seemed like forever in my 30s and 40s, is no longer forever.

I get why people go through mid-life crises. They get “over-the-hill” and suddenly the view changes and you can see the end. Prior to that, the end wasn’t in site.Death is in sight.

It was a night in June when we were in escrow that I had a realization…

while walking across the room on my way into bed. I realized that all we are doing in this life is marching toward death. How profound! It struck my heart with awe and simplicity. Everything we are doing in our lives, whether we realize it or not, is preparing us for our moment of death.

The shortness of life and nearness of death began looming as I approached 50. At first it was about confronting my age prejudice. I’ve always been the youngest, in my women’s group, in my closest circle of friends.

Coming to terms with turning 50 took me at least four years, two years before 50 and two years after. I remember clearly on a walk one morning recognizing I could live to 100 or more. That would mean my life is only 1/2 over. But still, the end is clear. Death will happen. All that I know and love on this earthly plane will vanish.

I think that age is given to us a way to begin to let go of our attachments. My attachment to youth has been huge. I’ve had to change my mind about what aging is and it has taken some time. I can’t say I’m completely at peace and I continue to let go and trust. I realize I have an utter lack of choice about aging and — about death. My life will end. I am astounded by knowing this reality. It leaves me in awe. And then I’m freaked out. F*ck! Life is so short! I’m just now finding inner stability. And then I let go.

The realization is more than an intellectual knowing. I’ve told friends about my realization and they respond with movies they’ve watched about death or other explorations of death. But do they get it? I’ve always known that I and all of us will die. But that knowing has been intellectual. This new knowing is an “oh my god” knowing that I can feel in my gut. This feeling helps me know what “Awe-some” really means.Death and Birth Doorway

On the more esoteric side of thing, perhaps,… when I look… it seems to me that the birth door  and the death door are the same. It seems to be located at the top of the head, the crown chakra, the place that was soft when you were a baby.

It seems to me that the soul comes in through the top of the head and exits through the top of the head. Same doorway. I don’t know the relevance of knowing this. And maybe it is not even true. But I think it is kinda profound. For me it points to something that’s consistent or stable. Something on the other side of that door was there when I was born and it will be there when I die. It’s been there all along. It is there for all of us.

I don’t know what happens when we die. I have my beliefs and my hopes. But I do feel like it will be a wild ride that will be awesome, especially if I am well prepared and can let go into it. It is ride that I don’t want to miss. And I won’t miss it because I can’t. But I want to be well prepared. And that my friends, is a subject for another article.

2 Responses to Marching Toward Death

  • Thanks Lauren, this is a very poignant article, so true and such a great reminder to see how we avoid our inevitable death and are biased toward youth. Our culture reinforces this in so many ways. Your article helped remind me that death can be a source of truth and enlightenment. Let’s unify with the elders in our community instead of unconsciously isolate them.

  • Extremely well said. It is a profound experience. Constant letting go of attachments. Perceptions of the actions of others softens. Love deepens. Internal healing intensifies. Not always comfortable!! Looking forward to continued discussion.

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Lauren Darges, RScP, SEP

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