Befriending Death

Befriending Death

Death is a big subject. For some, it is a taboo topic and has a locked door. For others, like me, it is a compelling door to step through and explore. I was terrorized by death as a child. Not my own, I was frightened of my loved ones dying, especially my mother. I made all kinds of negotiation with God, who I needed to be what I needed to do so that “He” wouldn’t take loved ones from me. My family didn’t hold a particular faith, but my mother had grown up in the Catholic tradition, and some of the teachings from Catholicism wove into my psyche through her. One of the most valued concepts that she passed onto me was something her mother always shared. And that was that “God doesn’t just live in a church.”

Befriending DeathMy dad lived from a place that, in essence, the universe is full of mystery.

Finding My Way

As I grew, I developed my faith. It wasn’t a straight line of understanding, though. It was more of a mysterious unknown yet held a certain knowledge that there was a powerful “Something” that existed beyond my little me …the draw to understand this “Something” cultivated with me. Especially because I was exhausted managing my fear of death.

Today I am grateful for this haunting, terrifying part of my childhood because it has been a significant catalyst for my Awakening and spiritual journey. My first real step of exploration began at the Spiritualist Church, which has its roots in an ancient practice of communicating with the dead through mediumship.

My time there was intensely meaningful, and it had a substantial effect on my journey. Through my time there, some of my fear of death diminished. I wasn’t befriending death yet though as I began to recognize that befriending death had many layers.

A Point of Transition

The next part of my journey brought me onto the medicine path and teachings from different indigenous cultures.

Befriending DeathVision Quests, which are ceremonial rites of passage, are an essential part of all Native American traditions. On my first journey, one of my ceremonies was called “Hole in the Ground,” which is a ceremony for befriending death. In this ceremony, you dig your grave and spend the night there, doing a life review.

When I first discovered that this was one of my ceremonies, I was terrified and panicked. This particular teaching required us to understand that we couldn’t truly live until we befriended death. What began as sheer terror ended up being one of the most beautifully nourishing events of my life.

An Invitation to Go Deeper

I recognized that after the ceremony, I had another layer of befriending complete. But I also realized getting through all these layers would take a very long time. The peace I had gained from these experiences inspired me to keep searching to understand and be comfortable with death. The draw to grow and know myself seemed to bring with it a more profound inner peace around the previously terrorizing feelings of mortality.

After spending 15 years in healing my emotional body, I realized my terror of death was wearing some untrue layers; those layers were, in reality, my fear around grief. A new chapter of exploration began with this realization. As my fear of death diminished, I permitted myself to grieve my losses.

By this time, life had offered me several opportunities to experience and work through loss. So now, I had practiced both befriending death and honoring grief. There are many more stories that I could share related to my healing journey, but this one I find so impactful. It also explains my passion and commitment to building the Soul Bridging community.

When I discovered soul-based astrology, I learned that Pluto sits on my ascendant. I am also a Scorpio, so this is a particularly important planet for me. This realization was an enormous “Aha” moment.  For me, this planet, symbol of death and transformation is calling me to explore these topics, discover them deeply, and incorporate them into my sense of self. Knowing this calls me to open opportunities to share and explore our discoveries of death and loss with you.

I will continue to share thoughts and experiences about my journey of befriending death. I invite you to share your story. What has been your experience? What has death taught you?  How has learning to let go opened you to a broader sense of who you are? Perhaps, through our sharing, we can lean into the mysteries of death and loss and become more of who we really are.

Blessings and Love,