But there’s often an abundance of laughter on my Before I Go group programmes and workshops. There’s plentiful amounts of stories, some amusing, some poignant, others educational.
Then there’s also fear and anxiety and concern, more traditionally words associated with death and dying.
But here’s the thing –
it’s BECAUSE fear, anxiety and concern are welcomed that laughter, stories and even enjoyment are found.
You wouldn’t think it, would you? It’s one of the reasons that Western society (on the whole) has become afraid of death – we have associated this thing, which we rarely see nowadays, with fear.
And things we are afraid of we naturally want to avoid (and in some cases, that’s really sensible!) But avoiding the end of life, especially when one reaches a certain age, is not a great idea really.
With avoidance, resistance, anxiety and fear grow, and all contribute to a state of unhappiness.
Ignorance also plays a part, and in itself begets beliefs based on ill-formed knowledge.
Before you know it, myths such as ‘It’s better not to mention the fact someone is dying, otherwise you might prevent a miracle happening’ or ‘Only hospital or hospice can care for your last days properly’ are seeded and then take on a life of their own.
These become assumptions, just like it is now assumed that when someone dies you contact the funeral director and hand everything over to them. (This is not necessary by the way – it’s something to make a conscious choice about, not just act on an assumption).
The antidote to all this is creating a welcoming stand to ALL emotions.
Just as I wrote in Chapter 27 of Gifted By Grief, it’s important to be open to them all.
Not try to push the ones we don’t like away, and only let in the ones we do like.
That’s not what life is (nor death for that matter).
Life is full of ALL kinds of emotions and feelings, and that’s what makes it so much of a rollercoaster ride.
How you behave on that rollercoaster is up to you – the ride of life is going to happen anyway, and by welcoming it all (no matter what it is), you’ll be engaging more fully in life, and therefore able to enjoy it more.
And death is just one of those rollercoaster ups (or downs, depending on what you think about it).
So, what do YOU think?
Is there room for an abundance of emotions in your life?
How much can you embrace both life and death? Reply in the comments below and let me know!