This morning a wise friend shared vulnerable words around a struggle with how we process death. In our culture that is afraid of the dark, the unknown, the mystery, the shadow, we tend to avoid acknowledging these things when somebody has passed away.
Sure, let's focus on their light and their beauty, yet...
Can we also elevate our capacity for holding, and love the whole of them, by giving voice to the parts of them that struggled to face this sad and beautiful human existence? Would this not offer us a greater sense of being seen from "the other side" (post-death of the body)?
Dear friends and family, please, don't just love the light in me.
Once I leave this human body, I sure would appreciate having my humanness honored too. My shadow spots, my struggles, my willingness to be with depression and to grapple with it out loud, my deep down kick-and-scream about feeling confined to a body, my cycles with sugar... I'd like that to be spoken of when my body dies, by my dearest loved ones. I would like to see, from the other side, that people were talking about how they loved me even when I was grumpy, how I was still precious even on my frustrated, crabby and cynical days.
That would feel complete.
To accept that we're in this human experience, and it's OK that we sometimes feel really, really messed up about that.
With great Love for those who've left their bodies, and all of us who someday will too. With deep Love to all who've felt the grief of a loved one's death, and to those who feel it every day for the collective, for all the dying that is happening every single second, of every single day.
May we practice leaning into light while we're here, but not deny that though we're made of light, this plane where we reside sure has its sorrow.
Jessica Rios, Founder of Leaning into Light, is a lifelong letter writer, Love-based leader and eternal fan of Mr. Rogers. This deeply personal blog and our free recorded conversations are devoted to one of her greatest passions: illuminating the beauty of the human spirit.