– Don’t Fear The Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult
There’s something you should know. Since I was a child, I feared death and loved life. I often questioned if life was so great, so enjoyable, why did it have to end? The process of death & dying I never took lightly – often the mere thought would send me spiraling into tears. But that all changed last year when I met someone who I now consider a very dear friend of mine, M.
I met M via the internet through casual conversation on twitter actually, about historical churches. Our conversations which would go on for weeks via email would touch on spiritual topics, religions, history and metaphysical topics. We spoke about our different upbringings (M lives in Europe) our current life’s work and so on. But what we really bonded on was a spiritual connection.
When I visited Europe last year (with about 40 of my closest girlfriends from around the world, its a yearly pilgrimage we take) M also visited me. During our email conversations, M would often say that he would not touch on the topic of Death with me because he knew how emotional it could be. We would discuss it if we ever met in person.
When I met M, we took a walk around the city visiting various churches together, exploring the architecture and talking about the history and the religion which the building was affiliated. After dinner one evening, I blurted out, “I don’t want to die!” and the floodgates opened. M listened intently to everything I said and responded so gently to my outburst – I need not worry about dying. M explained situations he had personally gone through, and explained that there is indeed existence after death, it is just not an existence neither you nor I have experienced during our mortal lives.
I had never before spoken to an individual who had words so comforting or words that I believed so deeply. For the first time in my life, I found comfort, hope and faith. M has always been, and will continue to be a spiritual rock for me. M’s visited my home and stayed with EmCee, myself and Little G – and has been in my life for about 2 years now. I’m an only child and M is about as close to a brother as I can get in this point in my life.
When I was visiting this year (last week) I got the awful news from my childhood best friend that her mother died. Her mom was the inspiration for my business (I am in the same industry she was in) and I was deeply saddened by her passing. It was like my own mother died. My heart bled for my best friend, my heart bled for her family.
When I heard the news, I spoke to M. And again (almost to the same day last year) we had a second conversation about death and dying. But because our friendship had grown so much from the prior year, the conversation was much deeper and more insightful. It comforted me and gave me hope.
Due to the time difference, I called EmCee as soon as it was daybreak in Jamaica to tell him of the news. I told him the wake was on Monday (the day I was flying home) and Tuesday and the funeral mass was Wednesday morning.
“Well, you don’t have to go to the wake or the funeral do you?” EmCee barked over the phone as if her Mom’s passing was an inconvenience to him.
“Of course I do, EmCee. That’s like my own Mom. She’s my best friend. How could I not go?” I responded.
“Well, she does realize you live an hour away in (another state)?” EmCee replied, almost annoyed that I was considering 3 days of constant travel.
“She’s not asking me to go, I am telling you that I am going.” I had to put my foot down. This is a man who has no regard for religion, the church or death. “I have to pay my respects. This is like family to me.” But then again, I was speaking to a man who just had his cousin’s mom die and didn’t even go to the wake – add no regard for family to the list too.
Needless to say, I did make it to both days of the wake, but due to the time (and my son’s school schedule) I wasn’t able to make it to the funeral mass. But I am glad that I was able to be with her and the family during this time.
Death, no it’s never been easy to me. But standing there in the funeral home I was surprisingly calm. I knew she went onto the next life – whether you call that heaven or reincarnation (or whatever you will) she is existing again. I pray her journey be a happy one in the comfort of the angels.
EmCee and I had prior conversations to this regarding death, and he doesn’t believe in Heaven or Hell. He doesn’t believe in anything. He believes that once we die – we die – the end. There is nothing more after our last breath. During that conversation I had with him, it was then I realized, that when I die – I want to be holding the hand of someone who will give me courage and hope – by saying to me, “I will see you in Heaven, I will see you in the next life.” I don’t want to be holding the hand of someone on my death bed who is saying, “Well, goodbye. I hope you had a nice life because this is it.”
Because this isn’t it. It’s not over. This isn’t the end. Those who believe shall be saved, those who believe will pass on to the next existence. Those who believe, know … don’t fear the reaper.
Perhaps a bit morbid of a topic to blog upon, but this is just another way EmCee and I are totally incompatible – we are just on two different pages. And its not just death, its the spiritual and religious aspect. I have always been fascinated with religions and have a strong belief in a higher being (call him God, call him what you will) and EmCee has not. When I was younger, I played into the whole notion that people of different religious backgrounds could overcome their differences – but now that I am older and closer to God, I realize that I need to have a partner who believes in a higher being just as much as I do – and who believes that they will see me in Heaven again – after this life is over.