Life, Death, Life?

Today is Easter, one of two pivotal holidays in the Christian calendar, as all my weekly planners are telling me.

Yesterday, at an SOS meeting which I co-facilitated, there were a dozen of us, as many as ever attend our bi-monthly Survivor meetings. A few mentioned that it was Easter and I shared my own reflections from earlier that day: that both Easter and Christmas celebrate birth, while only Easter rests on the preceding death on Good Friday.

My reflections this time of the year are not based on holidays celebrated by Christians; although I share a desire to believe in the resurrection of the spirit after the death of the physical body.

My interest is reflected in the subjects of books I am reading these days: about “near death experiences” (NDE’s) and contacting the dead. This feels related to the Christian Resurrection celebrated today, but not as a unique event involving a unique Being. I’m more interested in what happens to the rest of us at the end of our time on earth. As a survivor, I have little wish to contact the dead. I would just like to know that it’s not only those of us who are still here who are surviving in the boundless flow of time.

As much as I would like to know that a greater Being can intervene in what happens to individual souls like mine, as we wander through the years and, perhaps, other lifetimes, I’d like to understand what is right in front of me; since that seems to be all I can know.

I don’t want to begin and end with events, specific to my individual existence. That would be tedious for everyone, including myself. Certainly, if our son, Jonathan, had not died on Easter Sunday four years ago, I would not now be considering the meaning of today’s Christian holiday. But realizing that my personal experience is but one example of an eventuality shared by others, helps me to relax and recognize that I don’t need to struggle so hard to avoid something that is simply a part of the act of being born.

We may have a hard time believing that others have experienced what we have experienced, but we can still recognize that their difficulties and challenges are comparable to our own.

Perhaps the greatest loss that can descend upon us is that of spending our lives unaware that we are just human beings like everyone around us; and that we are all bearing our own silent burdens of insecurity and loss. Looking within ourselves and around us, we can breathe a sigh of relief. We may even feel grateful for our ringside seat—this human lifetime–from which we can view, and sometimes dive into, these daily resurrections.

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