A Brief Theory About Life and Beyond
Dedicated to all those ones that left us a bit too soon. I think of you every single day since you left us mummy.
Dear reader, as you may have figured out by now, this chapter is dedicated to the delicate subject of death. Before you look away or avoid the subject, hold on. For just one moment. I am here today to share with you how death is also part of the blossoming period, of the magic of life itself. For something to be born, or reborn often something has to die, to simply pass away. When someone departs physically from our life, another one eventually enters. This is the beauty and power to be found in our cosmos, an energy of exchange that we are all beautifully part of. An energy that doesn't get lost yet stays around us even when our loved ones depart from this dimension. As I will share further on this chapter, this is something that I experienced first hand through the unfortunate loss of my own mother, a deeply personal experience through my very own eyes that led me not only to re evaluate life but to also be open to life beyond death. Dear reader, I have come to realise that there is no absolute death. Death and life are in the same sphere, the same coin. For the soil to be fertile, something has to perish, for the animals to be fed, the grass has to be eaten and so forth. Everything in the physical plane is naturally reborn again one way or another, in the ever eternal circle of life, in the ever eternal circle of energy, so do not worry. Breathe in and endorse life fully. If you ever lost someone you love or currently feeling down by the burdens of life, I wish to remind you that we do not die. We are all eternal beings with a physical stop on planet Earth. Beyond our body, beyond our ever-powerful mind there lies an infinite, abundant source of eternal energy, our Spirit and it is available for us to tap into, to feel free and light whenever we need strength and courage to continue.
Death is nothing but a natural transition state, it is everywhere and it can happen at any time. From the moment we land on this Earth, our body is up against death’s clock. As Rupi Kaur poetically stated, ’We have been dying since we got here and we forgot to enjoy the view’. And that’s what I am here to discuss with you, alongside you, on our usual walk; let’s not keep focusing on ways to stop it, cause after all we can’t stop or cheat our own physical death. An obsession with that clock can potentially impair us from reaching inner peace and most importantly getting in touch with our higher self, so just let it be. Let life follow its course. Naturally. Effortlessly.
Death can be a very sensitive topic and even more so a personal topic. Whether we might be grieving someone’s loss or suffering an imminent death, whether it’s the intrinsic fear of death that’s blocking from reaching our full potential, whether we are on those golden years of retirement and fear the end of our sunset, I get it. We all do. We all experience death in different ways and death manifests itself in different moments of our lives, at different extent, for different reasons and durations. People may see death at the end of a long relationship, a little death at the end of a career change or even when grown up children finally choose to leave their parent’s nest. Fear of death can infuse our decisions. More often than not, by fearing it, we may subconsciously kill our intrinsic urge to explore, to create, to love and discover, to reveal our beautiful self, as we are scared to expose ourselves to moments that can be perceived as life threatening both in a physical and metaphorical manner.
For us to become invincible and defy our physical limits, we ought to acquaint ourselves with the notion of death, stop fearing it and start seeing death as a state of transition and not as an ultimate end. And hopefully like this we will slowly be able to melt away part of our fear, a sentiment that is so deeply rooted in our very own DNA. An emotion, that throughout our evolution and during survival mode years as a species, protected us yet also weakened us and cut our imaginary wings at times.
Throughout this chapter and starting today, take the time to dive within yourself and ask the question: what is truly my relationship to death? Do not try to jump on premature conclusions, answering immediately, let it soak in for a few days, feel the question and you will see that some first answers will magically appear, some previous experiences or past emotions might slowly surface. And once this happens, take the time to face these thoughts, those prejudices, evaluate what you hold dearly and what you want to finally let go of. Demystifying the bewildering world of death can be one of the possible paths to not only healing but to reaching our ever eternal being, our Spirit, I promise you.
A Personal Experience with Death
Experiencing death around us can be traumatising and painful. It can leave a deep emotional scar, yet rest assured that it will eventually heal with time and patience. I am hopeful that we shouldn’t have to lose someone close to us so as to finally level up our being. By sharing my personal story and past pain, I want to believe that some things will hopefully resonate and help temporarily appease our fear of death, even for a couple of hours or a few days. From my heart to yours. Hopefully, by the end of this you will look back at your personal experience and maybe you will get some personal clarity that you subconsciously looked for. So, without further ado, let me begin...
Despite having lost my dear god-mum to ALS at a relatively young age, my experience with death became the strongest and maybe the hardest with the one of my mother. When I lost her, I lost a piece of me. You see a mother is by definition our primary and main creator, as in the one that brings us in this earthy sphere and with whom we share oxygen, nutrients, parallel heartbeats and an abundance of love for a good 9 and confined months of our life.
My mother passed away back in July 2019 from ovarian terminal cancer. That C word that so many have been victims of one way or another. You see my mum was a brave-heart. When the doctors gave her one year she claimed and lived 7 full years, travelling and smiling whenever possible and throughout her marathon, her very own odyssey of fighting with chemo, of losing her ability to properly articulate and eventually to even walk or feed herself, she fought till the very end. And when that end came, it awakened something within me, my very own ‘death’ and rebirth. For her funeral, we chose the colour white, from the flowers, to her dress and even for her new little wooden home (a rather rare sighting for a greek mourning ceremony) because we chose to see her death as white - not black, heavy, negative - cause my mum was far from any of that - there was a light, a brightness, a certain evangelic energy in the colour white. In a way, her death was my metaphorical awakening, almost a second chance to see what really matters. It was having to write a eulogy for the day of the funeral that sparked it all. In an effort to rationalise her passing, refusing to accept a life lost in vain and for me to soothe my grief, I chose to see her death as a blessing and a wake up call for anyone that I could touch. I saw those eulogy words and even these written words today as an opportunity, as a responsibility to positively influence, appease and even heal the ones that I can. No matter the number, no matter the frequency.
Dealing With That Painful 'Why'
During my mum’s funeral, a lot of people would console our family but of course the dominant word on everybody's lips was a simple yet ever powerful WHY. That same word also shared by many of my friends and relatives who lost someone. WHY. 3 letters, carrying so much weight and pain, so heavy that, at any given moment, could fall on the floor and break our heart and spirit in seconds. Yes, this WHY connects us all: Friends or colleagues that lost family members, spouses, that why whispered from the neighbour across the street who is now a widow, that why towards all these souls currently disappearing as victims of the pandemic. Yes, that why is collective and it reflects a multitude of unanswered questions: How did it happen to me, why was it them and not I, is there a god above? It’s almost like a constant question mark to a superior power, a blame of weakness of the diseased, a deficit of our brain to be able to process a human loss. But what if, this WHY is also an opportunity that can help us open our eyes?
My dear reader, what if we try to put our efforts not on the WHY but on the BECAUSE? Wouldn’t that be beautifully soothing? Let us give it a try. Together. Because their mission on the planet was accomplished, because they lived a great and healthy life, because they have left behind an incredible heritage via their upbringing of their children, because life is short yet beautiful, because life doesn't simply end at the physical realm, because as with every other living creature on this planet that’s the circle of life, because we are all just by passers, passengers in this life and there’s a beauty in the today and I should feel enough even if there won’t be a tomorrow. What if instead of focusing on the negativity, we shift our collective focus to the daily wonders of life that we have been lucky enough to enjoy and to share even for one brief day under the radiant sun?
Whenever there’s the subject of death, or that WHY that we just explored arises, we tend to question the notion of religion. I am a firm believer that religion should be perceived as one of the many possible paths that can lead to your inner truth, without colouring its presence with artefacts, hatred, propaganda or even perceiving religion as our sole saving grace. Just a path. A beautiful path among many on the road called Life. On a personal level, for so many years I saw death as the scariest of ends, because for me the religious visualisation of a heaven or hell as taught at school seemed polarising and arbitrary. If eastern philosophy seemed to have something wonderful to provide, was to value the present but also to accept the now and a being that cannot be simply defined as evil or as good. Again, this is a personal matter, so whenever you can, take the time to step back and find your inner truth, collect the pebbles that will lead to your path along our sunny walk.
Grief - It's OK to Cry
‘If you remove the purple from a rainbow won’t it lose its magic?’ That’s another allusion I would like you to decipher, to digest, to process today. It took me some time, but I came to terms that grief is a normal human way of processing something insufferable that can lead to chronic depression. The sooner we accept that grief is part of a beautiful palette in our colour box and that some days it’s ok to feel down, instead of fighting it, let us surrender, let us empower that temporary melancholy like our very own bitter sweet symphony. Cause a rainbow has dark colours too and without the rain we can’t experience the sun. Without the notion of death, we can’t experience life. It's in this infinite duality this yin and yang to everything that’s proof that we are all one and everything around us is made out of the same divine, infinite energy.
How to See the Signs
My dear reader, earlier this year I finally realised that death is not synonymous to an absolute end. Let me tell you, my little piece of puzzle, from me to you. When my mum passed away and that’s where the magic begins, I started feeling her presence in ways I never expected to feel. In fact, many people had told me about this way of experiencing someone so close to you, as if they come and go in our dimension and enter our consciousness in new forms. For those who just lost someone special, trust me your beloved ones have never been closer to you and now they are part of you, in your sight, in your touch and in your heart. It might sound crazy, but when you lose that big part of your life, that part comes back to you and your bond becomes stronger than ever. And apparently when the time is right, they slowly dissolve, their presence fades out and only shows up as a strong yet distant memory during the moments you need them alongside of you the most.
On my mum’s passing, a bird came and circled me during my morning jog and I just knew it was her. The first animal that paid visit to her grave, literally hours after the ceremony, it was none other than a turtle, that symbol of wisdom, longevity and endurance and I just knew it was her. Once you are open those signs might help open your third eye in realising that actually life is not as limited as we always so carefully constructed it to be. Life doesn't end after death. Life is an ever eternal energy and if you get to experience that other side, it’s a form of awakening that I promise will stay with you forever. In my humble effort to guide you and after reading and consulting, there’s certain moments or actions that can be more telling than you thought they would be, if and when you are ready to perceive them:
- an animal will do something it normally wouldn't do, like stick around you and not be scared of approaching you or trying to connect with you.
- a song with the words you need to hear may come on, it can be coincidental or it can lead to answers to questions you were subconsciously seeking for. The day of my mum’s departure before even my brother called to announce the sad news, her favourite song played on the radio and I just knew.
- objects in your path that seem out of place, for example, one day, after my usual morning meditation, I opened my eyes and saw a pencil right in front of my eyes, buried in the sand prior to writing.
- a scent of florals or perfume out of the blue, have you ever noticed a sudden fragrance hit your nose buds when there’s no one around?
- lights, notice if and how some lights might suddenly flicker or a light bulb might burst when your energy is very tense.
- dream: more than just the freudian manifest of the subconscious, have they ever become visions, have they ever provided you with answers?
Please note that I linked the above signs and their decoding in relation to my mum’s loss and my personal experience however I am certain that we can all experience this via different actions that stimulate an inner awakening. Just by visiting a spiritual place, I have seen people re awaken their life past a burnout or depression, I have seen it happen after birth and I have seen it occur suddenly, on a clear blue sky morning. Not to strangers, not to random people, to friends, to people we all know and love. People that started growing up via the divine power of meditation, of gratitude, of self love and care and all forms of spirituality. And if I choose to share this with you today is because of our personal exchanges on this subject and these small ‘miracles’, these small signs or even inexplicable wonders that happen day after to day to so many of us. Especially during these otherwise troubled times.
Steps to Deal With Anxiety of Death
Although I do believe in the healing power of reading and as a teenager it was reading that helped me build my self confidence and to find myself, my voice and to re evaluate my attitude towards life, love and even death, I believe that words may sometimes simply not be enough. Here are some concrete techniques beyond reading that have helped and still help me be guided and centred whenever necessary.
- reincarnation: a beautiful concept that indicates that we live a multitude of lives and even after death, we will come back again.
- prayer: beyond focusing on a godly nomenclature, the simple yet powerful act of prayer, the clasping of your two hands in hope. The physical and spiritual state of silence we are trying to achieve. No, it’s not just silence, it’s utter consciousness.
- meditation: another possible state of reaching inner consciousness and unlocking our fear of death. A personal that exercise that has transformed my life over the past 2 years.
- being open to signs: as we explored above, when you are open and near nature, you will be able to look out for signs, as long as you are ready to receive and perceive them.
- counting our blessings: a daily gratitude exercise makes us realise that actually we already have lived a full life and on the daily there are moments that we feel abundant. Those moments are enough to make us cherish the today, the now, the present.
- live in the moment: the classic yolo, a comical almost phrase inherited during university years that despite its commonality, it can be a great reminder that if you do live in the moment, you shall have no regrets.
- realising that death is part of the circle of life: noticing how animals interact with each other, how even when a tree seems to die, there’s always a new leaf, a new lease of hope just around the corner.
- the idea that with every life cycle, we learn a new lesson: if you do believe in destiny and karmic life, every act, every move and decision or obstacle will always turn out for the best, as it’s a life learning curve
Concrete Help if You Are a Caregiver
Finally, this part goes out to the people that might be currently in crisis at home. While my mum was at a coma on her last week on this dimension and although no one could verify, I believe she could hear every single spoken word, every single thought of ours. Although in hindsight I have often regretted not being there for her every single night of that week to hold her hand at the hospital, during each day I would read to her, I would play her favourite songs, I would describe happy memories and I swear I could feel her smile shaping on her lips, I could still feel her warm, ever loving energy one last time . So, you do happen to be taking care of a person near death and if you are in pain via their physical pain, my request to you is to hold their hand as much and for as long as you can handle. Be there for them and guide them to make this as smooth as possible. Read to them, feed them their favourite songs, create sunny memories together, be their hope via your actions and words. Make them proud by your courage, normalise their transition state. Do not fight words that might seem irrational to you. Follow their flow, be their guardian angel. Create a peaceful surrounding environment at home, try to be susceptible to negative energy, keep the room light, use flowers. Your loving words can be healing words for them so every little effort, every single demonstration of love counts tremendously.
And remember: death is nothing but a beautiful beach on a cloudy day
Our vision of death can be as gloomy and macabre as a stone beach on a moody day. The rocks seem aggressive, hostile, savage, ready to attack, sharp, the water dark, pushing us away. But the minute the light hits that shore, that same little beach becomes our very own little eden, our very own heaven on earth. The rocks look golden, become heated and friendly, the water glistering, singing a melodic sound, the light reflecting. We need to see life and death in the same way. Instead of solely appreciating whatever is illuminated for us, we need to learn to be conscious enough to flip the switch. To always keep the light on any experience, whether happy or sad, to see and appreciate life but also death, for what they really are.
As Plato once stated a few millennia ago, being afraid to go towards the light, towards finding our truth can be the biggest tragedy of life. “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men/women are afraid of the light.” Maybe today is the perfect time to reclaim once again our light and face our deepest fears, starting with the fear surrounding death, once and for all. And eventually you and I will be able to see the truth: You and I are immortal my friend. And every single day on this planet is and can be a celebration of life and foreverness and it’s only up to us to just be so. Let's stop waiting to experience the worst so as to live the best. Stop waiting to be locked in our home so as to appreciate our freedom, stop feeling the need to spend insatiably so as to show our worth to our peers, stop expecting to lose our loved ones, so we actually get to appreciate the love.
With this chapter and along this book, my role here is not to flip the switch for you, after all each house, each body, each mind have their very own electrical circuit and the relevant buttons that need stimulating at a specific moment. Cause sometimes, what we are reading might seem alien or pointless, like so many times in the past, until we are ready to receive this information at the exact moment we need to hear this information. What I’m here to help with my dear reader is to create that need within for you to get up from your couch and start looking for that switch. I can provide you with some guidance, but it’s your torch, your lamp your light to cast and direct and eventually your light to share with whomever needs it the most around you.
For this to happen, we need to be and give love in every single opportunity we have. We need to be open and not to question what and where life is guiding us. To actually listen to our instincts and our inner voices now more than ever, to come with body, flesh and spirit to where life guides us. Remember, we are all made of the same infinite matter of love and it flows abundantly within us. So without hesitation, open up your heart and the world will open back at you with all its beauty. Remember we are all light and every moment, every obstacle, every wound should be nothing more than just another beautiful opportunity to our personal enlightenment. Death and life are part of the same sea, so with every little life passing away and dissolving on the shore, a new one full of the same energy and love will come around. Only the waves my friend, only the hours. That’s all we are left with and it is more than enough to be contempt. For today, for forever.
To all the deceased and to all the living, we are all in this together.