If the fear of death were a seed that we could plant and water it would grow into a multi-branched shrub, a little thorny and prickly one. This fear of our death seed has branches that would perhaps surprise you.
Let’s take a look at this fear of death bush a little more closely.
What death means to me in simple terms is something existed and now it doesn’t – something was and now it isn’t. Well, in a way the word change could take the place of the word death. Some synonyms for change are words such as alter, modify, and transform. So if we give death a wider beam, more than the death of a body, it opens up the discussion of death to many more ‘types’ of mini-death. This is where planting the seed of death comes in to play and broadens our understanding of the impact a bad relationship with our human death has on our ability to live a full human life.
Something was and now it isn’t.
The fear of ‘death’ spoken in this way leads to many other fears of events that simulate deaths of different types all linked to the fear of change or the fear of something coming to an end. We often talk about how many folks really dislike or are afraid of change, well underneath the dislike of change is this deeper fear of death – ‘cause they are the same darn thing!
How many of you have stayed in a relationship too long?
How many of you have stayed in a job too long?
How many of you have stayed in a home too long or kept a car too long?
How many of you have held onto habits too long? Or personality traits too long?
How many companies have stayed with a brand too long?
How many of you have held on to ‘stuff’ too long?
I know myself I have often fallen prey to the fear of change, the fear of letting go, the fear of not knowing. Every time I stayed too long in a job or in a relationship the consequences were harsh. My fear was overpowering and I was unable to see with clarity and make good decisions that would fuel my life. This paralyzing fear of change was totally linked to my fear of death. My life was less than full because I was afraid of something I could not prevent – my human death. Though I was unaware of this link between fear of death and fear of change it ran my life none the less.
It was until my brother Peter’s death in September of 2015 that I made this connection deeply and clearly. While watching Peter dying, I went through my own death of sorts. My body, being the same DNA as Peter’s body, was responding to what it was witnessing. My body became very clear that one day this too would be me. I was shocked in a way, given my work with dying and death. I was clear mentally, emotionally and spiritually, my body was the last facet of me to ‘get it’. When the coin dropped it was as if a light went on in my body.I was now physically okay with what I ‘knew’ was so all along, I had simply left my body out. My brother’s death was in fact life liberating for me, I am way more free to be me than ever before! And though I miss him dearly I am grateful for his passing – woke me up more fully than any meditation or workshop technique I know of.
How odd, death the great liberator in life.