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Thread: Is natural death the only way out? — On the topic of death

  1. #221 Reframing Our Relationship to That We Don't Control — from On Being 
    MS. KRISTA TIPPETT, HOST: “Let death be what takes us,” Dr. B.J. Miller has written, “not a lack of imagination.” As a palliative care physician, he brings a design sensibility to the matter of living until we die. And he’s largely redesigned his own physical presence after an accident at college left him without both of his legs and part of one arm. B.J. Miller’s wisdom extends to how we can all reframe our relationship to our imperfect bodies and all that we don’t control.

    There’s a big difference between things that happen to you, that are forces larger than you. I can yield to Mother Nature. I can yield to 11,000 volts. That’s a very different prospect than is shutting down your imagination or rolling over altogether. So there’s a challenge to our sense of proportionality in all this, and I’ve loved that theme. That word “proportionality” comes up for me a lot, trying to right-size myself.
    MS. TIPPETT: B.J. Miller is the executive director of the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, and he’s an assistant clinical professor of medicine at University of California San Francisco. A self-described “suburban boy,” he moved all over the U.S. growing up with his family until he attended Princeton. And there, the accident that nearly killed him set him on a path to medicine, but first to studying art.
    Reframing Our Relationship to That We Don't Control — from On Being

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  2. #222 What Are You So Afraid Of? — the words of Max Igan 2021 

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  3. #223 How to Spiritually Prepare for the Loss of a Loved One — by Kara Reynolds 
    Losing someone you love is never easy, no matter how it happens. While sudden deaths and losses can be overwhelming, you may find yourself overwhelmed even when you have the time and space to prepare for the loss of a loved one. People plan for death and experience it in all different ways, and whether you’re the primary caregiver for your loved one or you’re one of the people in their support system, you can strike a balance between bringing them the care they need and spiritually preparing for what your process will be to grieve their loss. Usually, the two will be intrinsically related.

    Everyone processes loss differently, and while death is nothing to be afraid of — as it’s a part of life — it can be difficult to navigate, especially if you’re close to the person who is passing away. No matter your belief system and your proximity to the situation, preparing spiritually for the loss of a loved one is often the best way to go about things, as waiting until after they’re gone to take care of your needs can sometimes lead to additional distress. Here are a few ways you can prepare for the loss of a loved one.

    1. Listen to Their Wishes
    How to Spiritually Prepare for the Loss of a Loved One — by Kara Reynolds

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  4. #224 The Tragedy & Liberation of Death — by Leo Babauta 
    The Tragedy & Liberation of Death — by Leo Babauta

    Last week, my brother was hit by an unimaginable tragedy: he lost his 3-month-old baby Tyler.

    I’m still in shock and heartbreak, coming to terms with it. My heart is broken for him, for all of our family, and for this terrible loss.

    I didn’t know Tyler, but as I begin to process this loss, I start to feel the loss of the future we won’t get to have together. Playing together, reading to him, riding bikes, throwing a ball around, having uncle-nephew talks out in nature. Celebrating his victories and his life. I mourn the nephew I didn’t get to have.

    And of course, it makes me appreciate the nephews and neices I do have. I’ve been thinking of all of them, grateful that I’ve gotten so many good moments with all of them. Tyler will be in my heart each time I get the gift of another moment with a loved one.

    This sudden loss has gotten me to face my own death this week. I know it is coming, just not when. I rarely think about it, because life is so in-my-face, but it’s there, waiting. Tyler’s death is such a stark reminder that we never know how much time we have left.

    I’ve been contemplating this quote from a revered Zen teacher:

    "From the perspective of many wisdom traditions death is seen as the ultimate moment for the complete liberation of the mind from all entanglements, all sorrows and all separateness." ~Joan Halifax

    And there is something liberating about this for me.

    When I die, I will no longer imagine myself as separate from the world.

    I will no longer imagine that I’m somehow inadequate. Nor worry about all the fears that come from that idea of inadequacy.

    At the moment of death, I will suddenly no longer try to control others, or burden myself with my judgments of others.

    This is indisputable. And if it’s true … why can’t I just let go of those things right now? Why waste time with trying to control or judge others, with worrying about whether I’m inadequate, with insisting on my separation from everything else? It all takes so much energy.

    Why not just free myself of these things today, instead of waiting for the moment of death?

    When I’ve been contemplating death this week … this liberation has actually happened for me.

    What a moment of complete freedom and joyfulness!

    Thank you Tyler. I love you and will hold you in my heart.


    Leo Babauta
    Zen Habits

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