Nancy Gosse ~ Journey of Truth

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Life Affirmed in Face of Death

Why is it that only in the face of death that we stop to question the sanctity of life? In recent weeks, I have had people close to me affected by the hanging suicide of a teenaged boy and last week a suicide by a young 20 something man who put in a gun in his mouth. As I sat in a coffee shop with my friend today, the aunt of the 20 something man, I witnessed eyes full of pain, anger, confusion, and great sadness. My heart opened up to receive the pain reflected not only in my friend's eyes but in the larger picture of the world around us.

On a daily basis we are witness to the stuff of life but not all of us are present enough to bear witness to the sanctity of the essential experience of what it is to be truly living, breathing, and being in gratitude for life. We can be witness to much beauty, sharing, compassion, caring; yet somehow holding to the sanctity of life and the essential core experience of breath is lost to us as we scurry about with the worry and frustration of getting through the say to day stuff of life. Why does it have to take a tragedy to make us pay attention?

My grandmother is also aging; death inevitable at some point. I open my heart to receive her as well as I witness the fear in her eyes for what might be beyond this life as she knows it. I can't help but step back and take a deep breath and allow myself to stand quiet in the stillness of the essence of life. I find myself wanting to put into words my knowledge of the peace that is experienced in that stillness so that my grandmother won't feel scared anymore; so that my friend can come to terms with her nephew having shot himself and the family left behind without the answers they seek. It's the same feeling I carried years ago as I sat on a hospital bed holding my 16 year old niece's hand after she'd been admitted for a suicide attempt. But words cannot reach a place that isn't ready to receive the understanding and so I stay quiet, reach into my heart and ask for light to shine for them, because I know that I am not capable of transferring my own experience into theirs. We each have our own journey to take through own inner landscape of experience. The best any of us can do is be willing to be in the stillness of our own heart and serve as loving witness to the truth it reveals.

The day that I received news of my friend's nephew having shot himself, I had been having a very stressful and worry filled day; a day of self-pity really, as I fretted over money concerns and having to make decisions about what to do to address my issues. Suddenly, all those concerns seemed very miniscule. It was a blunt reminder to pay close attention to where I am placing my priorities and to take the time to go inside my heart to remember what's most real. At the end of the day, at the end of our life, all that will really matters is how we expressed love in our life and whether we were present enough to receive and give from a heartspace filled with gratitude and appreciation for the sanctity of life.

1 comments:

My many masculine musings in a hip new voice March 22, 2010 at 11:53 AM  

"At the end of the day, at the end of our life, all that will really matters is how we expressed love in our life and whether we were present enough to receive and give from a heartspace filled with gratitude and appreciation for the sanctity of life."

Awesome words put so well. People (myself included) write poems and constantly attempt to do this very observation justice. You put it beautifully.

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