The Questions We Ask about Death

understanding deathWhen someone you love dies, your world goes black. It happened to me when my mother died. My senses went numb. My brain buzzed with a single question: Why?? And soon a flood of questions poured in.

What is death, I asked myself, really and truly for the first time. What is the point of this struggle of survival and paying the bills if we’re going to die at the end of it all? Where has Amma gone?

My mind insisted that there had to be more than this. You’re missing something, it whispered fiercely. A crucial piece of the puzzle.

A single image burned in my brain. My beloved mother’s body draped in a swirl of mango-yellow silk, the sari she wore to her final destination, the crematorium. It triggered a serious dilemma. If a single garment is all that you take with you when you leave the world (and you don’t really take even that), why do we spend all our lives accumulating stuff? And, what do we really leave behind when we’re gone?

For the first time, my soul and I started to have a conversation.

Books becam my allies, friends on a journey to my inner truth. Teleseminars and workshops became the mainstay of my life as I mined deep for answers. Gradually, the truth of living, and dying, began to emerge. Slow, small fragments of light lit up the dark spaces within me.

Instead of running away from the agony and pain of death, I stalked it. Traveled deeper into its mysteries, tried to tease it apart, all for a glimmer of what was real and true on this earthly journey.

“Understanding Death: 10 Ways to Inner Peace for the Grieving” was born as a result of all my education, excavation and experience. As a daughter who mourned the passing of her mother (and father, eighteen months later), as a hospice volunteer who bore witness day after day to the grief and heartbreak of many, as a companion to the elderly who wait for death to arrive, with a mixture of dread and despair, I felt the need to share my truths.

I’ve asked all the questions and found some answers. Sometimes I know it is necessary to exist in the space of the unknowing. I’ve taken what I received and packaged it for you. My hope is that it will ease some of the pain caused by the grief and loss you’ve experienced. And in exploring the answers, you will come to a place of peace. Because, if there’s one thing I know for sure, it is this: Death is not The End.

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