Death Part 2*, or The Momentary Joy of Being Curious
I was sitting on the deck with my friend, Effie, taking in the cool beginning to what was forecast to be a warm summer day. The jays were squawking, the hummingbirds were fighting over the standing-room-only feeder at the end of the house, and Effie and I were solving all the world’s problems. I enjoy solving world problems with my friends. We were laughing and having fun but then…

…uh-oh, I mentioned the “D” word.

I’m not sure how the subject came up but, given Effie is my age, I probably just out-and-out asked her. I cringed after kick-starting the conversation and clutched my mug of coffee a little tighter. She, however, did not flinch a bit — in fact, she kept right on smiling and said (wait for it…):  “I’m really curious about what’s on the other side.” She spoke without fanfare or angst or hyperbole; she was just being honest.

The moment she said those words I got goosebumps. In a flash, I saw and felt a different aspect of death than I ever had before. It was fleeting but my thought was, “Wow, can I actually be curious about what’s on the other side?” And immediately the answer came, “Yes, I can be curious,” and that got me excited.

For a moment I felt open … really open.

Standing strong, arms spread wide, face lifted to the brilliant sky, eyes closed I saw an alternative to the dreaded logistics of the death experience. I transcended the rigmarole of illness or accident, saying goodbyes, getting things in order (if I’m lucky), and found myself in a place of inquiry and sheer wonderment. This led me right into, Maybeit’s good, maybe it’s not scary, maybe it’s bigger than me and my emotions and even the physical plane of the entire universe.”

I’ve tried to express to my husband and friends the exact feeling of that brief awakening, but it just doesn’t translate. Perhaps I’ll never find the words. Perhaps it’s just too new or unfamiliar. Perhaps I dreamt it?

Like I said, that moment was gone just as quickly as it had swept its way through my being. I can sort of remember what it felt like, as it seemed to leave a spiritual thread behind in my soul.

Since that morning on the deck with Effie, I’ve been on a quest … a quest to recapture that ephemeral feeling of curiosity. It’s not a subject that can be Googled or easily tracked down in literature. And even if it could, it wouldn’t be the same.

But I’m hopeful of what I can learn and that I’ll have that feeling again. It has opened me up and made me a smidgeon less fearful of a situation no one can control. When death happens, it happens. My prayer is that I remain curious, even until that last moment.


Thanks Effie!

*Note:  I talk about death for the first time in my blog post of October 1, 2013, which you can read here.

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