I think about death a lot lately.  I have conversations about death.  I read books about death.  I chat with my friends about death.  I meditate on death and inquire into what happens when we die.  You might say that I am preoccupied with death.  Perhaps.  It could be because I am getting older but I suspect that I have always been fascinated with death.  My sense is that it isn’t until we’re not afraid to die that we can fully live.  Everything is transient. 

Maybe I’m fascinated with dying because I’m fascinated with life.  When I say life I mean this present moment reality just as it’s happening right now.  I wonder how many people died today?  I wonder how many people really lived today?

My little brother has terminal cancer and he is living at Hospice.  He is actually busy living at Hospice.  He went fishing yesterday.  The first time in a year.  He told me that it was the best day of his life.  In his wheelchair on a shaky dock at the edge of the lake, approaching the end of his life, he had the best day of his life.  None of us knows when we will have the best day of our lives or the worst day of our lives or when our life will end. 

When I think about my own death I always start to fret about “all the loose ends” in my life.  Maybe I should clean out the cupboards and get rid of all the things I don’t either need or love.  What about all the stacks of journals under my bed or the spiritual books that I know nobody will want.  I don’t want to leave a lot of stuff for my family to sort through.  I want to have a neat and tidy, no muss no fuss, death that doesn’t inconvenience anyone. 

I’ve already planned my own celebration of life.  I don’t want a big celebration.  Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t like crowds of people and small talk bores me.  I like intimacy and depth. I chose a Leonard Cohen song called, Lullaby.  “Sleep baby sleep”.  I want people to feel something.  Boxes of kleenex, cozy blankets and candles everywhere. I don’t trust people who don’t cry. 

I fed a crow a cracker on my front lawn today.  I just opened my front door and threw the cracker out on the lawn.  An act of rebellion on my part.  The crow just hopped on over and grabbed the cracker and I closed the door giggling with delight.  I live in a strata complex that doesn’t encourage feeding crows from your front door.  It was the best moment of my day. 

I sense that death will welcome us into her arms when she is ready for us.  It won’t be one moment too late or one moment too soon.  She will have her final say.


All of Candace’s services are Trauma, PTSD, Complex Grief, Chronic Illness and Benzo withdrawal symptom sensitive.

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