Death. The Transition

Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is death. And that’s okay. I get why we are saddened by the loss of a loved one. But not all death is a tragedy. For many, it is a relief. The end of pain. The day in and day out suffering. Death can a joyous occasion.

Having worked in mental health my entire life, I have witnessed many good deaths. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen more than my fair share of bad deaths as well. But I think we need to move past the notion that a long life equates to a good life. Not really. Have you ever spoken to someone who is eternally incarcerated? Have you ever spent time with someone who is in agonizing pain from sun-up to sundown. Not all life is quality of life. Life by and large, is what we make it. But there are times when life is far beyond our control. Truth is, it always is beyond our control. But attitude does play a big part in our journey. Which leads me to quality of life. And as I said earlier, not all life has quality.

I am not obsessed with death. I am just keenly aware that it is on the way. Think about it. With every breath, we are on the decline of the slope of life. I personally, do not fear death. At least I don’t I think I do. No one really knows until they are in that situation. But given my professional background, belief system and all that I have been through, I feel I would embrace it. But here is the thing, if I were terminal, I would like a say. And sometimes a say, is to let someone drift away. Yes, there is never one answer that would be appropriate for all. But we have got to get in the habit of having these conversations, prior to the actual death, or the prognosis of death. Because many times we are being bombarded with everyone’s input. And not everyone is thinking of you. Many are thinking of themselves.

Life is a beautiful thing. But death can be as well. Especially if we had this conversation {and meditation} prior. It’s not for me, or anyone else to tell you not to be afraid. But we all are going to have to talk about it. As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, we will have to have that conversation. I know it is unpleasant. But since we all will have to face that day, I am a firm believer in prep work. You know kind of like getting your affairs in order. Do it now. With a clear head and not everyone trying to tell you what you should do. Death is one of the most sacred acts we will face. Meet it head on and with a open heart. Because so many of us are denying the inevitable, that one day death will be knocking. And in my experience, those who have planned, made peace and lived a full life, transition much easier.


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Vance Larson


I am a retired crisis counselor of 20 years who has spent the last decade working as both a Life…

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