From the Heart: Death Becomes Us

Birth and death. They are two things we all share in common no matter what else separates us.

It’s impossible to experience one without the other — at least for us mere mortals. Yet we do not treat them with equal respect and passion.

A woman announces she is pregnant, and everyone showers her with love and light. The same woman suffers a miscarriage, and she is largely left alone in the shadows. We do ourselves a major disservice by focusing on one side of the sacred coin to the exclusion of the other.

Birth is about arrivals, beginnings, hope and opportunity. It’s fun to talk and think about. Death, on the other hand, is about departures, endings, loss and grief. Dark and depressing, right? At least that’s what society and culture wants us to believe.

People have been dying for thousands of years — but we still often whisper the word if we even say it out loud at all. If we don’t speak it, it’s as if it won’t happen.

It’s safe to say that no one has stayed alive forever by denying they would one day die. We also don’t bring back those who have passed by being reluctant to talk about them after they are gone.

I have learned that not only can it be okay to ask someone questions about a loved one who is no longer with us, it can be healing and affirmative. The person may not be here in physical form — but they