How can we end the conversations beginning with death? Previously I asked about a similar topic as “How can we start talking about death?” My invitation now is about drawing your attention to the end of the conversation as well.


In order to think about the end of something, it is necessary to start it, isn’t it? Then, to talk about the answer to the main question, do we need to go back to the beginning? Have we ever started?


My eldest son is taking the university exam this year. When I read about something to understand how the exam works in a foreign country, I generally come across with a list-to-do prepared to facilitate the work of parents:

*Knowing what to expect from the exam

*Being aware of the things we can control related to the process

*Being aware of the resources to consult when we have questions

*Being able to have access to the supports provided


Do you know that exactly the same of these items and more are included under many articles entitled “The Principles of a Good Death”?

* Knowing what to expect from death

*Being aware of the things we can control related to the process

*Being aware of the resources to consult when we have questions about death

*Being able to have access to the supports provided


It is certainly not wrong. Human mind needs to know. We feel safer in a place we know, can make plans, and exercise our right to choose where we can. However, I think transforming the issue to only a business plan or a to-do list does nothing more than adding one more to the chains getting in the way about death.


Thinking that we make death easy to swallow by converting it to a business plan in its last stages reminds me of the time I studied Management at university. It has been quite a while since my graduation. After the graduation, I was actively involved in business life for 20 years. Due to the experiences, I had in that period, I told the ones from relatives, family and friends asking my opinion on business post-graduate, not to do master degree immediately but to have experience after graduation as business world does not work as taught at schools. When you don’t practice what you learn, it continues to exist in mind until it is forgotten as dry knowledge. An education approach aiming to have knowledge again through experience contributes to your development more as your relation to the real world has been established. Other than that, there are situations where books are inadequate. For example, the level called management is more than a title. I am talking about the states where people who can cover the areas not covered by what is written in the books changing into managers who are respected and liked.


It is the same for death, too. The main theme in nearly all of the speeches made, “education” provided, or books written about death is based on the planning of death; a business plan for death. Well then, why are business plans made? In order to control and manage. Can you see the connection?


You know we have a tendency to view ourselves as the victims of death, don’t we? I am saying just the opposite. No, we aren’t victims. What people living in this era sacrifice with their business plans is “death”.


If you could just stay with the writing for a while after reading these lines, you can feel that neither the beginning nor the end or the essence of the talks about death is related to planning. Could the planning part be a temporary stop on the way? Maybe, if you feel like it.


The beginning of the topic: accepting the existence of death and realizing that we avoid talking about it.


The end of the topic: knowing our place and boundaries as humans.


The essence of the topic: life.


Talking about death is talking about life and talking about how we live, and life is talking about the finite quality of our lives i.e., our death. The result of the attempt to separate these two from each other is changing into a state of trying to deal with death with business plans, just like we do in this era.


Stephen Jenkinson notes that dying wise (not well-wise) is an act of love. According to him, dying wise carries the infinite faith in life and is the legacy for our loved ones. It is not the end of marriage life, but the last big love act of married life. Dying is not the time of not dying.


If you spend sufficient time thinking about the finite quality of life, there will be awareness in your life after a while. In fact, it is such a light one, maybe light as a feather, that you don’t recognise it in the beginning. Thereafter, how you live your life and how you continue your daily life with your routines get in touch with this awareness or this new space formed. This is what I call LIFE. Life that contains my personal life, but the one bigger than I am and all the living things alive. A living thing. It connects my connection to life to “consciousness” in such a deep place (in the way I have not known before). A weaving starts between it and me. My relationships, my words, my actions, in fact, all my experiences feed life and get fed by life. The difficulties don’t lose their difficulty trait, but I can coexist with them within the same body. When my connection to that space disappears, everything in my life becomes a burden on me. Being in connection to that space is my return to home. My state of disconnectedness is a kind of existence where I continue my life from a more automatic place and where I cannot feel joy and liveliness. Contemplation on being mortal and my transient existence brings me home. I remember other words of Stephen Jenkinson: “Seeing the end of your life is the birth of the skill of loving being alive. It is the cradle of love for life”


I find my way not through business plans, but through contemplation.


Yazının Türkçe versiyonu: Ölümle başlayan konuşmaların sonu



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