Death

I think it is important to put this out there. I am not afraid.

Nope. When I say death is my familiar it is not merely a throwaway statement. Seriously. Death has been my persistent companion for so very long now that it has lost the ability to intimidate.

I have thought about death a lot. Not because I’m morbid but rather because I am terminal. And I have come to the conclusion that it is nothing to be feared.

Not long ago I spent several hours with a close friend who was on their deathbed. And she was afraid, very afraid. This had to do in part with the fact that she was way too fucking young to be confronting the end of it all, and there is no way she could have been prepared.

However, I did my best to comfort her. Dying is not easy, I said, but death is. And then I told my friend that in my work on death I had come to the conclusion that it is a big giant release—and—contrary to what we are often led to believe—an ecstatic experience. The French refer to orgasm as ‘la petit mort’ or the little death. This is not, I think, a coincidence.

Death is a kindness. A place beyond pain and suffering. It is a letting go into that beautiful scrum of all that has lived before.

Dying is difficult because it is a separation from all we have known. In this respect, I am no different than most. Given a choice, I am not ready to die. In fact, a consummate late bloomer, I feel like I’m just getting the hang of this particular lifetime and I would prefer to have some more time to hone my craft.

I still have a lot of work to do when it comes to getting my physical affairs in order. I’d like to spend more time with friends and family, see more of the world, make more art and more love too πŸ™‚

However, spiritually, I am ready. I have done the hard work around my own mortality. And because my love for life is truly unconditional, I am not married to outcomes. It’s all good, no matter how this ends.

Because it will end. For all of us. This, our life on earth. After that? Who knows. As an atheist, I like to think my energy will just get stirred back into the whole of the universe. You may have another vision–equally comforting.

But know this. I don’t think we need to be afraid. Our death is harder for those left behind–the people who grieve. And even then, I have learned that when someone I love dies, they continue to live on in my heart and my head. I just can’t call them up to go to lunch. But I sure as hell can go on loving them.

That’s the thing. Our flesh is not eternal, but love, as an intangible, can be.

Live now. But leave with love.

xo

19 responses to “Death

  1. You are beautifully amazing! The sun just came out in my gray, snow-covered neighborhood while I was reading your thoughts. I am not sick (that I know of) but just getting older and older – and have been thinking about this topic lately. I still happily sing in my church choir and enjoy my children and grandchildren, so needless to say I am not necessarily looking forward to my eventual demise. Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. Judy Kasey-Houlette

    Absolutely beautiful. Thank you, Linnea. ❀

  3. You’re pretty friggin’ amazing.

  4. Well spoken…

  5. You are so wise. This is comforting. Thanks Linnea πŸ™‚

    On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 10:02 AM life and breath: outliving lung cancer wrote:

    > linnea11 posted: ” I think it is important to put this out there. I am not > afraid. Nope. When I say death is my familiar it is not merely a throwaway > statement. Seriously. Death has been my persistent companion for so very > long now that it has lost the ability to intimi” >

  6. All YOU HAVE BEEN , ALL YOU ARE , ALL YOU WILL BE , in death 2 out of three ain’t bad xxxxx
    Best wishes always Sandra xxx

  7. angelamariatheresa

    Linnea, I have been following you for nearly 10 years, going back to Inspire days. I have had a good ten years in remission of nsclc and now I am facing thyroid cancer. Your journey has given me hope when I had none. You have been the Captain of our team for a long time and ever time I think it is time to quit trying to go on with the battle, you come up with honest, no bullshit words that pull me through. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you. To steal one from Shakira: your words don’t lie and that means everything.

  8. Thank you xoxo

  9. I love your honesty Linnea. You are a real pioneer.
    I love you.
    Linda

  10. You fill me with emotion every time I read your missives. What beautiful thoughts you share. I look forward to more of your philosophy and the strength with witch you share it. xoxo Patti

  11. Patricia H Braun

    This is beautifully written. It is very similar thoughts when I was diagnosed, and what I walk with since. You are amazing!

  12. I have had the honor and very humbling experience of being in the presence of someone I loved die, it was quite peaceful and enlightening. knowing you have come to this understanding is calming! I love you Linnea and consider it an honor to know you and to play, travel and work with you, I fully expect that to continue. ❀️

  13. Amazing piece from the heart. I recently lost a friend and this was helpful. Thanks Linnea.

    BTW, I feel like a late bloomer myself. I know this feeling, and I thought about it in the ER today (long story and not that important, I promise). I thought about life being way too short. And about how existing is not truly living… living is about experiences, especially when it comes to those whose lives you’ll continue to affect long after you’re gone.

  14. Colleen Broughton

    Linnea, The news of another loss, and one so close to you, is a total bummer. Your words about terminal, death and dying are helpful as we all navigate for ourselves and others. Sending hugs, and wishing you love and more love, – Colleen

    On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 7:02 AM life and breath: outliving lung cancer wrote:

    > linnea11 posted: ” I think it is important to put this out there. I am not > afraid. Nope. When I say death is my familiar it is not merely a throwaway > statement. Seriously. Death has been my persistent companion for so very > long now that it has lost the ability to intimi” >

  15. You are such a beautiful writer Linnea. I continue to be honored to follow your journey and learn from you.

    Michelle, a stranger/friend who has been following you since your gorgeous visage appeared in the NYTimes πŸ™‚

  16. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’œ

  17. You are phenomenal. I am honored to know you. Thank you for your words which touch my heart.

  18. This is beautifully written. I just lost my husband to cancer and was at his bedside when he died. He was a born worrier. To see all worry leave his body made me believe he was truly at peace.
    I will love him and carry him in my heart forever.
    I hope that you do find your peace.

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