I celebrate death, because I love my life, my family

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 feel grateful.

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 to begin.

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 ways.

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)

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