Can Abundance and Dying REALLY Go Together?

flowerscamelliasAbundance. Dying. End of Life. Plentifulness. Not words you would normally think of together.

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).

Thrills for riders of the roller coaster.

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!



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  1. Diane jardel on October 18, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I have learned to accept an abundance of emotions and. how-to describe them.

    It is hard to. express emotions if you grow up with a family who do not encourage this

    • Jane Duncan Rogers on October 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      It’s great you have learned that, Diane. It sure is hard (but not impossible, as you demonstrate) if you grow up in that kind of situation. There’s no model to learn from. One way that helps, that I’m sure you have discovered, is to hang out around those who can express emotion consciously and compassionately.

  2. Sandie Luti on October 18, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Emotion can often surprise. I remember the day, many years ago, when, after long months of deep depression I was admitted to a psychiatric ward. It was surely the end of the world, the worst case scenario. Not so. Within hours of admission I felt relaxed, as if torment had lifted, and hope taken its place. I have often wondered about this, and the experience has helped me to accept that I cannot know how I will feel in any future situation no matter how grievous or pleasurable. So I don’t tend to anticipate outcomes and it keeps me from fretting and worrying.

    • Jane Duncan Rogers on October 18, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      These are such very wise words, Sandie. It is very true, we cannot predict our feelings. Knowing this brings a freedom which in itself is surprising, and very welcome!

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