The Unspeakable Subject
Looking out the attic window, the eight year old girl wondered what would happen if she jumped. Would she fly off through the sky free as a bird or would she plummet to the ground like a stone and shatter into a thousand pieces. Would those pieces still be her? Would they feel the hardness of the concrete or would she melt into nothingness? Would she no longer exist? Would she not move like the rat her cat killed or be slimy like the roach Daddy smashed with his shoe?
During those few moments looking out the attic window I first consciously wondered about death. This wonderment continued over the years, as I lost friends, my mother, and my fathers. This fascination led to me writing , The Ultimate Wonder, World Stories Illuminating Death.
But, when I mention my book’s title, people don’t gush and ask, “Oh wow, what kind of stories? How did you come up with that idea?” Death is a subject most shy from discussing. Some cultures hold the topic of death as taboo. But, as a Buddhist, the reality that death may happen at any moment keeps it forefront in my mind. As a nurse I have seen those who, although knowing death was coming, refused to accept or prepare for it, and meet the end in pain, anger, and fear. But others, who finally accept their next journey manifest a peace and calm that often surprises those around them.
So, do you contemplate death? Is it something you fear? Do you feel how we live our lives can influence how we meet death?