Life, Death, Rebirth and Change

The Pandemic has kept us virtual prisoners, but it has offered me the gift of time for self-reflection. I have gained new insights on the spiritual aspects of death and loss. COVID’s long, dark tunnel burst any bubble of invisible protection. We even face the feared reality of a future we might not be a part of. The Hispanic tradition respects both life and death. It says, when death sits down beside you, you are blessed because from this experience we learn to appreciate the preciousness of life. Each one rolls over into another, to energies inherent in the rhythms of birth, death, and rebirth. These insights have boosted my appreciation for family, friends, connection and deepened my sense of a “oneness” of life.

I have questioned whether grief is the price we must pay for love? I have questioned what gifts I can harness from coping with death, grief and loss? What is the positive legacy I can leave behind? How have I acted courageously or taken the risk of being real and ended up doing my personal best?

I am an experienced traveler to death and loss in my personal life. Perhaps you, like me have been deeply affected by the death of someone important to you or with your own impending death. One of the hardest feeling to overcome is anger over the thought that I (we) may never have allowed ourselves to live fully (death of “the self”). Breathe deeply! Here lies opportunity to banish the ghosts that haunt you. Push beyond invisible restraints, make lasting memories, and say Yes to the adventure of life!

I learned that life and death go hand in hand, and can either smother out or give birth to an “inner fire”. If smothered, it’s time to bury it, reclaim sovereignty, and give birth to a new inner “language” unburdened with the leftover values, “stale bread”, of other people.

Life, like the waves of the sea, is an ongoing process, but coping with death remains daunting. We hold on, can’t let go of unspoken feelings and unresolved issues that grip us. Some mourners find comfort in the belief that there is life after death ― so we’ll meet again. Others try to escape by medicating the pain or by retreating from life, or desperately seek connection by throwing themselves into a new relationship too soon.

Time, we need time to discover the all-important lesson: Love never dies. Even the deepest losses can reveal moments of meaning and beauty pushing up the seeds of new inner life or a new chapter with more gratitude, passion, and wonder. As author Leo Buscaglia states, “Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time . . . It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.”

— Charlyne Gelt, Ph.D.

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