A friend of my mother’s passed earlier this year and I felt I could almost shrug it off. I felt as though I didn’t feel enough and I felt callous and cold towards those who are experimenting the death of a loved one. I feel for those who are left, who now have to learn how to live without their dear one in their lives. Especially in cases of the death of a parent when a child still has so much life left to live, or a parent who has to ever say goodbye to a child. But I do not feel sad for the one who has passed, the way that I used to. I do not feel sad for the fact that they have left this plane, for it is merely a transition. It is simply a part of life.
When my Pops passed, I felt it deeply. It hurt. Not his death, exactly, for he had lived a long and full life. He had a goal, and he surpassed it by two generations. He hoped to live long enough to see his children fully grown. He actually lived long enough to see his oldest grandchildren fully grown and know two great-grandchildren, see pictures of a third. I never hurt for him. I hurt for myself and my family that we would never see him again. I felt pangs of jealousy that my cousin’s child, while very young, would have pictures to look back on and know that she knew her great-grandfather. Pops was ill and Witchlette was too young to risk being in that environment. Witchling wasn’t even a figment in our imaginations yet, and I felt pangs of jealousy when he first came home- he too would never know my Pops the way others did. But none of these hurts are about his death, they are about experiencing life with his absence.
This brings about the hardest part of death.
Samhain is approaching and with it comes time with our beloved dead and time with our ancestors. They should be regularly remembered and celebrated. And that’s what’s great about Samhain- a time to recall the past without reliving it everyday. A one-night celebration without being trapped in what was.
Think about the Cycle, or about Karma. When a bird is alive, it eats ants. When the bird has died, ants eat it. It’s all about balance. To have life, we must also have death. Without an end, we would not have drive and passion to guide us through life. Death is beautiful because it makes life worth living.