Getting older is tough in ways that I hadn’t really bargained for, I’ve thought about running out of time to do things or achieve things but time will run out on so many aspects of our lives.
Over the past year I’ve been trying to become more acquainted with death, not in a morbid way but because it should be better ingrained in our everyday living. You could even say I’ve worked quite hard at this, through attending a course about ‘How to face Death’ (another great School of Life Course) which despite the title was one of the most uplifting days I’ve experienced. I’ve read about Death Cafes and Death Conferences – neither of which I’ve attended yet – but it’s on my ‘worth considering’ list. A few months ago I began work with a local hospice as a volunteer bereavement counsellor because it felt the right path for me and I felt strong enough to do this.
In the space of a few short weeks I’ve lost my dog and my Dad – the impact of both is very very tough. I’m writing this 2 days before my Dad’s funeral and so I’ve been reflecting on our lives as a family and remembering and thinking a lot about what death means and how we can or can’t prepare ourselves for this inevitable event.
I’m glad I started to engage with ‘Death’ before my losses, before I even thought I may have these losses. Maybe without realising I had started to prepare myself. In middle age – you can’t avoid losses, they start to add up, that’s life, it’s hard, but it’s life.
Experiencing death and grief is never going to be easy, it’s one of the hardest things to bare but the conversations need to be had. However difficult it is, I want to continue to engage with death – I’m not sure how to live without it.