Monday, February 18, 2013

Learning to Love: Closure

Is this really the end of the world? Much has been happening, that keeps reminding us of our imminent mortality. The question is…are we ready to die?
When asked what I would do, if life were to end in five minutes, I said: “Rejoice. Death has been my loyal companion, giving my life purpose and relevance”.  I’d welcome relief from stumbling through life in spiritual blindness; relief from being severed from God-ness. I´d definitely welcome death and thank life for its unconditional embrace and its endless opportunities to love.
A patient of mine, living with HIV/AIDS taught me that death is not our enemy but a close companion in life. He said his guru had been the Human Inmunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It had taught him to value every second of his life, as if it were the last. It helped him to set his priorities straight. So he left his medical career and built a half-way house for terminal patients whom he has been caring for, since. It is death that has given his life, meaning.
The only thing we all have in common is living and dying. We don´t all have health, wealth, intelligence, food, opportunities…but we all will, at some point, die. Whether we go into another life or just disintegrate is irrelevant. However, how we die is important. To die in peace and gratitude, with no regrets or misgivings is the fruit of a life well lived. Have we repaired damage done? Have we asked for forgiveness? Have we forgiven those who have wronged us? Have we thanked everyone who has loved us? Have we thanked everyone who has hurt us? Have we fully enjoyed every moment, given? Have we shared all we have to give? Have we loved all the love we have to give? Have we fulfilled our destiny? Are we happy? Can we face pain with serenity? Can we let go?
My ex-husband lived in bitter pain, for his son’s suicide. He frequently thought of ending his own life. We came to an agreement: I would respect his right to freely end his life, if he so chose, but I would never help him. I tried everything to make him happy: dressed as the pink panther; set the Christmas tree in Summer; made plays with his grandchildren for him, but to no effect. I finally called his ex-wife and had her forgive him. They got together again. I was left listless, with broken wings and no feathers on my back. But he wasn´t mine, nor was the pain they shared.  I still believe it was the right thing to do.
Death like closure has to seal open pathways of energy exchange. We have to close all debts and retrieve the energy dispensed. We are ‘ours’, no one else’s; so it is up to us to put an end to things, clean up and tidy our life’s mess.
A survivor from Auschwitz impressed me with his testimonial on the day the war ended. His job had been to clean de latrines. (Ugh!) So when the Allied troops marched in to set them free, he went back to first, finish washing up the latrines! So much for closure.

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