I’ve thought about dying. Death. Being gone from this world. It gives me this icy feeling inside my being, my heart lowers, breath is drawn out. I’ve died many times in my lifetime. We all have. This is the other death I think about. Parts of us die — we shed hair, nails, skin. Physical parts of our being leave us. Emotional parts leave us, too. Our hearts break; love dies. And it feels like a part of us dies along with it. It does. We die. Everyday some part of us dies. Some days the death is harder. Other days it’s as simple as a manicure. A nail trim. But then we get a new polish. A new color. A new kind of life.
The French writer Chateaubriand once said something that resonates within me. To paraphrase, he said we have not one life, but many lives stacked end to end. That is the cause of his misery. One life can end, allowing another life to begin. We can face heartbreak and then meet someone who gives us their heart, healing that part of our core we thought was gone. We find passions and see sunsets or newborn babies and our hearts rise, and heal; we take in deep breaths of gratitude and contently exhale. New life. After a death. Our own death. That other kind of death. But that misery part Chateaubriand wrote of, that is up to us. Since death, in this sense, gives us a rebirth, it doesn’t have to cause misery. Or rather, it’s because of that misery that we see how amazing life can be. You cannot have the highs and experience the pleasures without knowing about the lows and feeling the sadness. This other death can lead to a joy you never knew possible.
I’ve died that other kind of death. And now I’m alive, awakened, my heart fuller than it ever was before. I have had not one life, but many lives stacked end to end. I’ve made it the cause of my happiness. I’m wiser. I’ve learned. I’m experiencing life … after death.