Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Life, death, spring

Spring is the iconical and literal season for new life. Babies are being born, trees are starting to show their new blooms, the grass is getting wild and love is in the air. Okay, maybe that last part is a stretch but who knows, maybe not. Spring is a time for newness and fresh beginnings, so death really has no place in this happy season, right? With beautiful flowers popping up in yards all over town and children laughing and playing, how can the pall of death spring up?

As inevitable as spring may be each year, death is equally so. Like it or not, death reminds us that some things must go away even when so much is just coming into existence; it’s all of that ‘circle of life’ business. Maybe the better way to put it is to say that in some cases, it is death that precedes new life. Personally, I like to think of it that way.

Death also has a funny way of helping us clear up thoughts, emotions, habits, routines and opinions. Many people have trouble with this simply because change is not always easy. We carry around a lot of extra weight on a daily basis and it is death that exposes that excess. For a brief moment following death, we carry around despair, but eventually we develop new thoughts, emotions, habits, routines and opinions. Out of death comes something new, every time.

Understanding this new direction is important, it helps us cope and manage in difficult times. Most of us do not welcome death for death’s sake, but fear it for fear’s sake. As a result, we are often scared prior to death because of the unknown nature that follows. If you grab hold of the spring that rises out of your winter, you will see the new life that awaits you.

This isn’t some inspirational speech but more of a wake up call. We all need one occasionally in order to recognize that which is still living around us. Getting caught up in that which is dead harkens to those habits and routines we carry around. When a tree loses a branch it doesn’t die, it learns to get along. That may be a harsh representation but imagine if the branch was blocking a view of the mountains. We now have a new view; an angle we hadn’t noticed before.

New life simply means new perspective. Our ideas are rarely born out of our ruts; they are usually created by plowing a new road. This is not without work mind you, but the reward is always an easier path, even if it comes with a few blisters.

As a new season dawns here in the High Desert, there are bound to be some heavy hearts that are aching with the grief of death. If you are among them, take heart, there is something new on the horizon. Welcome the spring, breathe in some fresh air and see that every day is brand new; a day that has never existed before, a view you hadn’t noticed. You may never look at spring the same way again.

1 comment:

Lee Pittman said...

My take on the Five + One Stages of Death that lead to a Better Life.

Denial - This one makes sense you do not want to believe you have lost a loved one and it is easier to deny than accept

Anger - Not sure this one always plays out in order hard being angry if the one you loved was suffering.

Bargaining - Understand the need to rationalize with the deep feelings you have and the longing to know GOD's purpose.

Depression - I really think this one comes second when you celebrate the first Christmas, Birthday, or special event without the one you've lost.

Acceptance - Admission to yourself that the person is gone and recognize life will go on even though you may miss the life and joy that you were blessed to know.

That brings me to the new addition to the five stages of grief/death Joy

Joy - Is the feeling you get when you reflect on the laughs, adventures, and tears you had the pleasure to experience.