Nature's Place

Death by Any Means?

I have an old friend I met recently who is going to die. I met her in my explorations of the Euthanasia or Right to Die movement, which is a story in itself and I will go into it another time. We are all going to die but my friend knows her time is up and she wants to go peacefully and not in one of our ‘reputable – for their lack of care’ retirement homes or on the hospital production line where you can be assured of only one thing, the indignity of institutionalisation and the subjection to the will of others that implies.

But she has to go alone because nobody close understands or is fearless enough to stand by her and just speak of death, and do what is necessary. So I wrote her this when she asked if it is ok to speak of her death.

What a shame it is on the status quo you have to speak to a stranger about dying, the most intimate experience in consciousness. If I was there I would stand with you and by you. But the times and technology allow this, so this will have to do – isn’t that good.

If people can’t be spoken to of death, to you of your death, then a pox on their houses – that’s just karma, to wake them up to the suffering they cause by their belief in it, or their fear of the believers – a belief in fear. I know what it is to be alone, to do what everybody else thinks is wrong, with no fallback position. But alone doesn’t have to be lonely.

I have spent a lifetime, almost, tearing the insanity of ‘religious’ (or other equally absurd) belief from my eyes – planted by the Irish Christians, and our stupefied society, by the way of things – and I won’t let them stop me conveying my hard earned vision of what this life and death is. I claim the same right to speak.

It’s dying alone you refer to. I don’t know your situation and I am not there yet but I have touched the darkness and my mind would reel without right preparation – having looked at it for long enough and to know I have nothing left to do. Here’s what I see.

Death is as natural as the sunshine. Only people make a problem of it – in their fear, many older mature cultures have respect for it and for those on their way. Because we are of the Earth and not of the mind that fears and knows the lovelessness of the world. The Earth is not the world.

The Earth is where everything natural happens without anything holding on to it and making a problem. The Earth is where everything beautiful is born and nothing gives up until it’s time is inevitable, when there is no other option. We, as humans, can add to that ‘when there is no other acceptable option’, somewhat because of our misplaced obsession with living longer that has devised custom and technology to prolong living beyond the natural death of the body – an absurdity if ever there was one.

The Earth is a place of great wonder and beauty and when the time comes we die back into it, as we came out of it, whether we believe it or not. And what we die back into is not just the body to the earth but the Soul (if you like) to the Mother earth is. Earth is the mother of us all, no? In every way we come from the earth, by the power of the sun.

And when you die it is the love of the mother you die back into, the love that turns to wonder and beauty here. So when you leave, leave the world of fear and belief behind and embrace the original love we come from. It’s inside now, downwards, or up towards the dark sun.

Every death is a birth into a higher octave of being, the way a musical note ascends to the next and leaves the last behind – for it to be. And every death with a knowledge of birth is a death of a pioneer, the birth of a truly noble creature in another place.

It doesn’t all have to be rational, or make sense. Just follow the ring of truth out of this place, when the time is right.

Encouraging death? No, encouraging fearlessness, encouraging courage – the real stuff of nobility.

Clarity is your best friend, in the end.

Be easy, as much as can be.

Total peace? In existence? Where every thing is hard-wired to hold to living, to the last drop? I don’t think so. I think that simple instinct to live, that turns to the fear of death upon reflection, will always be a disturbance in some measure, especially as one sees death’s approach.

What I ask myself is have I done what needs doing, is ‘my house’ in order. If the answer is ‘Yes’ then it’s only fear and I can do what I know is right and acknowledge the simple good. It’s good to be in the senses, to see the nature, feel the breeze, hear the bird – or whatever is ‘sensible’.

And it is good to go to sleep, after a long and tiring day, down through the sensation inside. Where, along the way, I may dream of conflict but just as here, it will pass if I don’t hold on. And as I fall deeper into sleep the fear – and the fearer – dies, like the Chimera it always was.

Maybe that resonance is the ‘ring’ of truth, the bell calling me home? Saying, it’s all right now. There is nothing to fear any more.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab – best in FireFox


14 Responses

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  1. Alex Jones said, on 24/01/2013 at 8:24 am

    Accepting the inevitability of death, even making it a friend, gives life added meaning.

    • Mark said, on 24/01/2013 at 5:17 pm

      Yes, it takes the limitation off the self and enables a new perspective – beliefs not withstanding …

  2. jamyunJamiun Micheal said, on 27/11/2012 at 6:53 pm

    like alway Mark, you did a good job…excellent actually..amazing picture of insect’s world..thumb up..great..

    • Mark said, on 27/11/2012 at 7:20 pm

      Hello Michael, how are you doing …

  3. Sally's Healthy Living said, on 24/11/2012 at 2:02 am

    As an RN and as a person who has a mother in the end-stages of life, I thank you for the candor and gentleness of your insights and truths of the dying process and life. American culture, at times, almost forbids us to sit with the wisdom of impending death, the beauty of acceptance and the clarity of impermanence. Living with and embracing impending death needs to be mandatory training for all health care providers. I can only hope…

    • Mark said, on 24/11/2012 at 3:04 am

      Yes Sally, the way things are in our culture is not healthy. To simply acknowledge the mortality of the body would give so many a better chance of living a more perfect life, and death … The way we are …

  4. Rachel Creager Ireland said, on 23/11/2012 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you. Incredible photos, as always, and luminous writing. I saw a documentary recently about the right to die, and was surprised how strong my feelings about this issue have become. We must be able to talk about it, though. If you can’t talk about something, then you’re just giving up and letting fear win before you’ve even begun.

    • Mark said, on 23/11/2012 at 8:30 pm

      Hello Rachel. Yes, everything must out in time … Apparently it’s a subject that touches many but politicians are afraid to go there because of vested interests, custom and practise, so discussion is stifled – for now.

  5. naila said, on 23/11/2012 at 12:27 pm

    Simply beautiful. It’s a gift to read your musings. Thank you.

  6. Garden Walk Garden Talk said, on 23/11/2012 at 11:14 am

    “Every death is a birth into a higher octave of being…” I can say I hope so. A beautiful thought.

    • Mark said, on 23/11/2012 at 8:29 pm

      It just may be so. When I don’t know I go with the ring of truth. Not knowing is ok …

  7. suzysomething said, on 23/11/2012 at 5:01 am

    Oh, Mark. I am so moved by this. As I write, my eyes are leaking and my heart hurts for both you and your new old friend. Now that I have the credentials I hope to work with Hospice here. I’ve decided to specialize in grief (where my heart tells me I can do the most good) and crisis counseling (to pay the bills). You have articulated my own philosophy about death and dying. Your heart speaks to mine. It speaks to the hearts of all who read your words. Your words and philosophy are pure light for all those who fear ‘what comes after.’

    I believe our ‘soul’ becomes part of what I call the Universal Soup. We leave our husks and soar. We join with those who have gone ahead in a sort of cosmic conscious. We are no longer tied to Mother earth. Mother earth speaks to our deepest core. She says “It’s alright” “it’s okay” She helps us to escape the pull that has kept us here. She lets us go. As we leave our corporeal vessel, we may cling to the remnants of this existence, but our ‘soul’ longs to be free. It yearns to return to the ‘whole’ (for the lack of a better word). It is okay. It is alright. We fly.

    For all of my adult life I’ve believed this. Apparently, I passed it on to my children. My ‘concept’ of what-comes-after helped me understand the ‘why’ of my son’s suicide four years ago. He hung himself. His soul yearned to be free. Like your new old friend, he was ‘ready to go’ I spoke to him the night before and we talked about his beliefs and that he embraced my own philosophy. That we can decide when we are ready to move on to the ‘whatever’. We can decide when we want to leave this world. Not only that, we have the *right* to leave. He spoke of a hypothetical friend. Foolishly, I didn’t realize that he was saying good-by.

    • Mark said, on 23/11/2012 at 8:27 pm

      Hello Sarzy.

      Thank you for your comment, your open way. I have no doubt you love enough and will be a goodness to whomever you serve, in their time.

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