Why Do We Talk Around Death Instead Of About Death?
Why do so many adults avoid talking about death?
Why do so many of us pretend “it won’t happen to me?”
Why do we talk around the subject of death instead of looking at it head on?
Maybe because our elders avoided the subject with us?
We were taught from a young age that death is part of life’s journey.
That one day we will all die.
That this thing we call life is temporary.
That death is nothing to fear.
That after we die, we move on. (Or whatever your belief is)
That when our parents bought us a new pet, they told us from the start that this pet, will die. It.will.die.
Do you think that if we had openly talked about death from a young age, we will be less fearful?
Will we approach a loved one’s impending death with grace rather than fear?
Will we celebrate end of life instead of pretending that it isn’t happening?
How can we support each other?
How do we witness each other?
How do we be present with the sadness, the uncertainty, and our feelings, without judgement?
To put it concisely, we suffer when we resist the noble and irrefutable truth of impermanence and death.
~ Pema Chodron
Talking about death and facing the imminent death of a loved one isn’t easy. Actually, it sucks.
Dealing with my father’s declining health for the last few months have been painful. Some days I wake up and my chest feels like it’s a big cement block. So I understand the desire to ignore death, to pretend that it isn’t happening.
But we cannot continue to ignore it. We need to cultivate a society where it is ok to talk about death and dying.
When faced with the impending death of a loved one, we can do one of two things.
We either face it by talking about it or we can choose to ran.
How does running looks like?
You might decide you have to go travelling after a relative is diagnosed with cancer.
You might decide that you must do everything to prolong your loved one’s life.
You might choose to focus on doing anything except asking your loved one what his or her wishes are.
But, what if you could openly talk about death with your loved ones?
If you know your loved one’s wishes, perhaps it will make the end of life less painful?
If you are willing to talk about it, maybe it will encourage others around you to have the same conversation.
If you talk to your children about death from a young age, maybe there will be less fear and uncertainties?
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