Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Death and Taxes


Death and Taxes, two things you can be sure of in life…and two things, it would seem, least understood by everyone.
No, I’m certainly not going to try to explain them, just have some rambling thoughts to share…
It seems not a week goes by without our little island Saint Lucia being rocked by the sudden loss of someone we, or our friends love…or even some unknown stranger, snatched by accident or violence. Just this last week a former colleague of mine, who’d taught at St. Joseph’s Convent for a lifetime, shaped so many young lives, died … just like that. I think she was just 47 or thereabouts.
Talking to others who were closer to her, reading the FB posts, of those who had just seen her a few days or a day before, that same morning…you could feel the inability to process the ‘Why?’ ‘What on earth for?’ It’s an emotion raised, it feels like, all too often.
No matter our religious or spiritual beliefs, it seems we really don’t deal too well when death t’iefs one of our own.
The sense of loss just isn’t placated by the belief that their spirit has gone to a better place. Their freedom from the trials of a harsh world is just not compensation for how much they’ll be missed by those left behind, how much of life we believe they will miss out on now.
I’m not a religious person, and I don’t think I know anything here, but I believe, and it feels like a deeper thing than that, like an inexplicable knowledge, that our spirit is eternal. I just don’t know what form it takes when our bodies stop. And it doesn’t matter. For me, I have this belief that whatever ‘side’ you live you’re life on, then that’s where what’s left of you will go when you die – into the ‘good side’ or into ’the bad’…or much more likely a bit of both for most of us I’d wager. What is good, what is bad? That’s a much more complex question, the details humankind will, I suspect, never stop trying to decide on, but I suspect most of us in our deepest hearts, have a pretty good idea of when we’re being good or bad…and we all do a bit of both.
Sun sets, moon rises. Soufriere, St. Lucia
Does our personality, our character, our personal spirit remain intact? Does our Soul live with God? Do we dissipate into everything? I don’t know. I don’t need to know. I feel sure it is all as it is supposed to be…”and whether or not, it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding, as it should.”
I guess maybe we seek to paint a picture of what ‘the afterlife’ is like to comfort ourselves…to help us deal with something, no matter how many ghost stories we tell, we really have no proof of. That I don't know either...
That’s the wonder of human nature – some people with spend their lives frustrated by the inexplicable beliefs of religions, some will live their lives to the fullest through those same beliefs, everyone in their own way, find’s their own personal way… probably we’re all somewhat right, probably we’re all somewhat wrong.
Rainbow, that universal symbol of hope. Castries, Saint Lucia
More and more, I have a sense of peace with death. For a long time I haven’t been bothered at the prospect of my personal end of life on earth… not that I am hurrying – I’d like to stick around for a good while yet, taking up life’s challenges, experiencing it’s joys, it’s sad moments…it’s wonder. I am still torn by the violence we inflict on each other, that is different.
Hmmm, and as I try to explain why I feel this peace with death, and that it doesn’t mean I figure we all go at ‘our appointed time’ even, or get our just desserts…I acknowledge that really, I don’t know anything…and that’s just alright. The departed are, I suspect, ok….
And taxes….well that’s a mess made entirely of human doing…so I don’t expect ever to be sure there ;-)
Care for your fellow human. Life is altogether too unpredictable, too short, too tough, but definitely, however long or short it is, always made better by us exercising some of our better natures; tolerance, kindness, understanding, selflessness, responsibility, just to suggest a few….
Life's Journey...a mix of many things...East Coast Rd, St. Lucia
Over to you guys…