Death is the shedding of the bodily attire.
It’s part of the process of living.
What begins must end.
How we view that ending and whether or not its a “final stop” depends on culture, beliefs and experiences. Different strokes for different folks, as a fellow Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) trainee says.
The loss of a loved one can feel unfair. Disbelief, hatred for life, grief, despair and relentless loneliness all come at once and sometimes visit us one at a time. Some feel it’s a matter of finality. An ending for everything. Others believe that the soul simply moves on to another plane of existence…that they’ll find another place to reside. Some have faith that there is a heaven and the deceased are still with us in spirit.
We can’t really understand it until it hits home. A loss of a loved one has a life altering impact on our perspectives, decisions and life goals.
It forces us to reach into our depths to find meaning and significance for our own selves in this world.
Ideals that may have been long held, stagnating goals, life perspectives… all come in a rush and an urgency to make life all that it can be, encompassing our entire existence. Sometimes it’s in memory of that person that drives us and other times it’s the realization that life can cease in an instant. That it’s a beautiful privilege that should be honored, enjoyed and embraced. Lets face it. Anything can happen at any time.
My last memory of you is lain down in a box with your face turned to your side. Beautiful black hair softly touching your slightly blue tinged face. Your eyes were closed and you were at peace with your existence.
I remember being part of the cars with blinking headlights, traveling slowly on the road to your resting place. It’s a drive not one of us wanted to take. And yet we were all there, sending you off to a place we couldn’t understand.
Time stopped. Emotions disappeared. Breath ceased. Memories escaped.
All that was present, was the present.
Later, I reminisced about the first time I saw you, over a decade ago: walking down the high school corridor, thin-framed glasses, slightly hunched demeanor, books held close to you and looking down at the ground. Flash forward to our first meeting on the Speech and Debate team. Not knowing what I was getting into and you being a veteran of the group, I followed your lead. You pushed me on, prepping me on a road that I still follow today.
Through the years we moved together, breathed together, dreamt together and planned out our lives together. We were polar opposites in how we approached life, in our opinions, in our demeanors, in our backgrounds…yet what bound us, was pure and simple love and respect. That meant more than anything else. You inspired me in every endeavor I took and came to my side in every difficulty I faced. The friendship and companionship surpassed all other elements.
As the anniversary of your passing gets closer, I remember the compassion you taught. I remember that life is fleeting. It is but only a moment.
Whether that moment lasts for 80 years or 26, you can never be sure. But being grateful for life, loving everything it offers and moving with it, instead of against it, is the crucial lesson that you instilled.
The day you left was a day devoted to the discovery of life and all we choose to love and let go; create and destroy.
Death is a funny thing. It fervently reminds you of how valuable and precious breathing, loving, existing, compassion and devotion is.
You remind me to bring life to its fullest potential at every corner, each time you pass through my mind.
It’s a whisper thats calls out to Live and Love.
In devoted memory: Momina Cheema: http://www.mominacheema.com
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Editor: Lynn Hasselberger