"What does dying mean to you?"
That's the big question that a few of my closer friends have had the courage to ask me outright, though each seemed immediately anxious to frame death in a religious vision of angels carrying me into Christ's arms to the tune of trumpets. They asked, in other words, perhaps more so that they could boost me up rather than maybe to really find out what I expect. They did it out of Christian love, and I appreciate that, but it's not my vision.
I know that dying means leaving this dimension. I do believe in an energy transferance, or a soul that continues beyond, but I see it more as my energy rejoining a universal dimension comprised of love energy (God's energy source) that I'm already a part of. And in that energy source, I will be reunited with the life energy of my son, whom I lost when he was 16, and the love of my granddaughter, my mother, brothers, grandmother -- I've lived long enough that I actually have more family on that side of the border than this waiting for a reunion.
I'm not afraid to die. My bucket list is checked off. I'm 70, and though it feels to me like still being 50 mentally, I know I'm not. And that's okay; I've fulfilled my purpose as I have understood it; to uphold, to create and to mentor, and most of all, to love. Check, check, check.
My wonderful friend Elaine once told me stomething that changed how I looked at the end-of-life time, too. When her father's health was failing, the family wanted to rig up a boat so he could go bass fishing, his favorite pastime before he was bedridden. He had to explain to them that bass fishing no longer was even a want; he loved his daily bowl of chocolate ice cream with family, and the massages his daughters gave him for his sore muscles. That's what he most enjoyed and looked forward to. His world shrank, yes, but he had adapted his desires to what was obtainable, and so he enjoyed every day. Rather than become embittered about what he had lost, he cherished what he found.
I think, when it is my time to die, that my world will have shrunk to the appropriate size and I will be tired enough from my lifes' labors that death will be a release of a soul actually ready to go.
But I don't want to go until then because I have one final purpose: to support the family and friends I have on this side to help them get that same clarity and acceptance with me, so they can bid me a fond farewell with a glad heart instead of sorrow.
We were blessed, loved ones. We've had much to smile about in the times we've had together, even with the ones we lost far too soon to let go of without great sorrow. That love lives on, and in that way, we never really die, for love is the energy that binds both dimensions.
Dr. Suess: "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."