I celebrate death every day, because sometimes that's what it takes to remind me of what's really important in life.
I have a few experiences from my own life, which I'll share, and a few
borrowed from others that inspire me to deeply value every moment with
my loved ones.
A story about a mom who held her baby for 42 minutes
has stayed with me since the first time I read it just after giving
birth to my second baby. "In 42 minutes everything about life and death
can change..." I read the story again every so often and just cry and
My relationship with death began when I died just after my nineteenth
birthday. I was revived, obviously since this isn't a channeled message
from beyond, but it was a good time to die. I was living a reckless
life, in a reckless marriage, no kids yet, so I peacefully, painfully
took my leave and resurrected myself.
I'd been saying I was marking time for the whole of my young adulthood,
but I realized that I wasn't. My life was passing while I waited for it
I'd been wanting to start a family since I was 7 years old, so I was
eager to get started when I met my second husband who obviously had the
makings of a great father. Thus followed a couple years and several
miscarriages before we gratefully got pregnant with our first daughter
who had a birth defect of her kidney.
In "Notes from a Dragon Mom,"
Emily Rapp made the point that "Parenting advice is, by its nature,
future-directed..." but how do you parent a child for whom there is no
future? This is worth really thinking about. "Traditional parenting
naturally presumes a future where the child outlives the parent..." This
presumption that the future is what matters could be your worst mistake.
My father died unexpectedly when he was 50. I'd moved 300 miles away
from home. My two babies and I hadn't seen him in months. His death, the
death of my childhood, prompted further rearranging of my priorities. I
wrote my memoirs then. Plus, I realized that it's true--those we love never really leave us.
This is magnified every time my youngest daughter smiles his familiar
smile. She was born after he died, but she reminds me of him in so many
Nowadays, I cherish every moment my husband and children are alive.
We're on familiar terms with the local emergency responders, because my
husband nearly dies regularly. He's an aging Type 1 diabetic and we've
always known that his life is maintained by alchemy, so his presence in
our lives has always been magical.
When I cry over life losses, I do so with gratitude in my tears. The
future is no place for love. This moment always matters most.
(Cross-post from unschoolinglifestyle.com)