I’m not sure if I should start this post with a good ole’ fashion Happy Halloween, or Surprise! we’re talking about death. I’ve had this topic (being mindful of our mortality) on my mind for awhile, so we’ll call it the “October Edition”. Sorry, no pumpkin spiced latte’s here this month.
Typically, with two little girls, our Halloween is a lot of smiley faced pumpkins, and cute ghosts around the house . So this year, when our oldest asked if we can turn our front yard into a cemetery for Halloween, I saw a little sparkle in my husbands eye. A joyful glimmer of darkness, if you will. Above his head you could almost see his visualizations of black decor, with strobe lights… instead of pink colored pumpkins, and apple scented candles. It was adorable.
Will there be a cemetery in our front yard this year? Well, if I can convince dad that pretend headstones reading “here lies Ben Dover” or “Hugh Jass” are not appropriate…. possibly… but the odds aren’t in his favor.
In the meantime, the idea of a cemetery in our yard doesn’t actually bother me all that much. Rather, an off colored reminder to live our lives to it’s fullest.
Over the summer, our family was visiting my father in law’s grave site. While walking back to the car, one of the girls asked my husband if we knew anyone else at this cemetery besides papa. He quickly answered “yes, unfortunately, we do”. I immediately spewed out “what do you mean unfortunately? Everyone dies.” (CLEARLY, he’s the sensitive parent). I think we were so taken by surprise on this question, that we both spoke too quickly.
What he was rightfully thinking was – unfortunately, some of our loved ones were taken before we were ready, or felt they had much more life to live still.
What I was thinking was – let’s not teach our children that dying is only a possibility. It’s OK that we know other people here. It’s OK that we die.
I try to think we both had a valid point, but lucky for us, the kids weren’t listening to us anyway, they ran away.
At the end of this discussion, our conclusion was the same. We agreed, by acknowledging our own mortality, it’s a reminder of how we choose to spend our time here on earth. How to forgive, how to have compassion, how to love, and how to give. An article I recently read says it all for me in the title alone, “Death asks us to live authentically.” (I’ve shared below) The author reminds us,
Death is inevitable. And may arrive even sooner than we dread…. mortality is not the result of fortune or a world gone awry, but a consequence of life itself.”
He then goes on to say,
How we relate to this certainty determines how authentic, meaningful, and purposeful our lives are.
Therefore, practicing the mindfulness of death can be a very humbling mediation practice. For the rest of this article, and his guided meditation practice, read here: death asks us to live authentically. By Josh Korda.
We all know, material things are only temporary, and the only thing we own are our actions. Lets do so authentically. Let us see the good in one another. Let us help each other. Let us love each other.
So, I finish with this. Take a deep breath. Feel your breath. Hear your breath. Feel that prana or energy flowing through you and giving you life. Thank your breath, and appreciate it.
Now, take another breath with renewed meaning. Happy Halloween.