Skeleton Woman, as being the life-death-life cycle. There is life after death I believe. I am not just talking about Heaven or the after life, but the kind of life we choose to live when we can face our fears surrounding death, confronting and accepting our mortality.
I am someone who has personally experienced a lot of death with the loss of a husband at the young age of 27, loosing my mother in 1995, after one year of sobriety, and then ten years later loosing my father and my older brother within two months of one another. In considering what I have lost and what I have gained, I am amazed and so grateful to be able to celebrate on January 2nd, 2013, nineteen years of contented sobriety.
The death of my loved ones has given me an appreciation for life and a wisdom that I would never have otherwise. I learned many hard lessons from death and continue to do so. What I have gleaned from these lessons, I have to share, pay it forward, in hopes of perhaps helping another, the way others have so generously helped me.
I remember many years ago reading, Love and Will by Rollo May. He makes some profound statements that have long resonated with me, about the relationship between Love and Death. This is clarified for me is his quotation from a letter written by Abraham Maslow, who was recuperating from a heart attack.
" The confrontation with death-and the reprieve from it-makes everything look so precious, so sacred, so beautiful that I feel more strongly than ever the impulse to love it. My river has never looked so beautiful....Death, and its ever present possibility makes love, passionate love, more possible. I wonder if we could love passionately, if ecstasy would be possible at all, if we knew we'd never die.
"Death is always in the shadow of the delight of love."
He speaks as well of the other side of the death and love relationship.
" The obsession with sex serves to cover up contemporary man's fear of death."
At one time death was not so much at arms length as it is today in the twenty first century, much to our own detriment.
When I first came to the realization I am somewhat preoccupied with contemplating thoughts about death, especially around this time of year, at Christmas, I didn't really want to admit this to myself. However today, after closely and intently listening and reading what Caitlin Doughty has to say, I can better embrace my thoughts and feelings about death and mortality. I now understand and know this is healthy and normal considering what my life experience has been.
Caitlin says, "Many of us have thoughts of death, but we don't see them to the end. We get stuck in the loops, reliving the scary part over and over but never the resolution."