Today’s session at Wellspring was on Death and Dying. For a sometimes dark subject, there was a lot of laughter (not uncomfortable laughter) andreal, down-to-earth discussion about denial, birth/death themes, fear, and planning.
When I got home and had a chance to read the news, I found many photos of Joe Paterno’s funeral procession. I grew up in State College, and JoePa was an eternal figure. He and my dad were the same age, and it’s hard to believe they are both gone. When I was reflecting on death today, it was a realization that I don’t think much about it, except as something far off. And my partner was surprised to find out that if I had a year to live, I’d slow way down - living moment to moment, enjoying the relationships that sustain me.
I wasn’t surprised. I am so busy finishing up school, and a year of major life events, that the idea of having a reason to slow down and just live life moment to moment, instead of as a headlong rush, was an imagined relief. Not that I hope for a death sentence anytime soon, but it was a reminder to stay in the moment as much as possible.
I’ve been hearing that message a lot lately, from different readings and encounters. It’s something I believe and try to practice as much as a busy mom of four can, but it’s a constant struggle. My daughter’s therapist said this week that thinking about the future causes anxiety, and that really resonates with me. I’m much more centered when I can be in the moment and not just trying to rush through it to the next one.