Isn’t this an idyllic scene?
It’s where I often go for my early morning walks – the birds are twittering, the air is calm and still, and the vibe is full of the kind of possibilities that only exist at the beginning of the day, before the world of humans wakes up. (Yes, I go out pretty early, 5.30am is not unusual in the summertime!)
But the other morning my reverie while walking was disturbed. Initially I was irritated – a booming voice from over the other side of the loch. It was only 6.30am when I rarely meet anyone else, let alone hear someone speaking.
As I rounded the corner it became obvious an ‘incident’ was happening. In the middle of the still waters of the loch was a bright orange RIB, with several men in it. On the leafy banks nearby was a policeman, and as I approached the road, I saw ‘Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’ written down one side of a big truck.
It turned out a man had gone missing, and it was clear they were looking for a body.
I wasn’t allowed to continue round the loch, so retraced my steps back into the woods from where I’d come.
I pondered the suddenness of this happening – someone had died in that loch (no doubt I’ll find out more details in next week’s local newspaper); and only a few days previously, another local man had also died in a sudden squall of rough weather out in Findhorn Bay. An experienced sailor, his boat had capsized and he’d drowned.
As I walked, I reflected on how death really IS a part of life. In the woods, surrounded by evidence of this in the shape of dead tree trunks, new saplings and bursts of bluebells about to blossom, amidst those already dying, I couldn’t ignore it.
Death happens to humans too. That’s me, and you.
Facing up to this fact enables you to ensure the legalities and other practicalities are in place to support your family after you have gone.
But you do have to face up to it.
I was lucky; before my husband actually died we were able to address these things together. It wasn’t easy; it never is when you know death is going to happen sooner than later.
I don’t want to sound gloomy about this, though. The strange and wonderful thing is:
If you face up to death in the midst of a healthy life, you paradoxically get released into living life even more fully.
But you have to do it to experience this! You can’t face up to your own death through someone else, by reading a book, or by helping another person do it – although all of those are useful steps towards it.
It’s taking action for YOUR life, given YOUR personal circumstances, that is what is really required.
Then, that means that you’ll have made things as easy as possible for those you leave behind. What a gift 🙂
You’re already getting this information and encouragement to take action, but I would love to reach out to more.
Please invite your friends or family to sign up to get a copy of my free quiz Before I Go: The Quiz, where in just 10 short questions they’ll be able to discover how well-prepared for their end of life they are – or not.
Here’s the link: http://www.giftedbygrief.com/beforeIgoquiz
Thank you so much for being willing to spread the word in this way.