November 13, 2014

Death Inspires Me.

Death makes me a better person.

Nobody wants to talk about death—despite the fact that it will happen to all of us. We will all experience the parting of our light, the final surrender of a physical body—we give attention and power to in many ways.

We will let go of life in a way that can be tragic, yet beautiful.

The nature of my work allows me to be with the dying, which is an honor, really.

I don’t do anything special with dying people; I simply listen to them or sit with them or help them write letters to their loved ones.

In doing so, I often find that I am inspired; by their lives, by their change, by their fight and by their release into death. The things they say, the things they do—I am in awe of the transformative nature of death.

Death inspires me to accept uncertainty.

We fear the unknown—but to embrace it leads us to walk an inspired path. To accept death pushes us to find reverence in day to day living.

We can embody gratitude for the gift that life is. When we find gratitude we open our hearts and in opening our hearts we make space to love others.

In denying fear we accept the gift that is love.

We then give love, accept love and ultimately come to the realization that we are love—death is only the turning of a corner into another room.

Death is the shedding of what was to evolve into what is. We cling to life and all of our false notions that we have control—that somehow we have a say in how it will all go down because it scares the hell out of us.

We try a million ways to avoid death—not just our own demise—we even avoid talking about it with others.

Death inspires me to allow grief.

We avoid the grieving. We tell people to “get over it” because we are too uncomfortable to be with them in the presence of their pain. But death doesn’t have to be painful for those left behind and once they get to a point where the loss is not so raw, they will come back to us.

They may return, changed by grief, but only in a way that allows for appreciation of the light after their experience of the dark.

You don’t have to fix them, you can just love them.

You don’t have to do anything besides say “I’m here” and be willing to sit with them and listen. They won’t be broken forever; they just need time to realize the illusion of separation so that they can find their inspiration.

Learn from them—allow them to inspire you to love better.

Death inspires me to let unimportant things fall away.

Nobody cares about politics or the latest fashion or petty grievances when they are dying—it’s as if their true self emerges in last days, in the final hours.

Finally, the ego has no hold—it is useless, helpless and void.

All that remains is the knowledge that the present moment is the only true reality.

The now becomes dearly loved; it is sacred and wanted and desired, but only when there is no more possibility of “future.”

Death inspires me to love The Now.

After a counseling session with my Hospice patients, I am fully present and in my body, able to see with spiritual clarity.

The sky, the trees, my senses and other people become perceptually different. Blues and greens seem a shade brighter, my mind seems to expand, smiles and tears from people passing by seem to resonate deeper. I stop taking things personally, instead realizing with compassionate eyes that we are all doing our best, even when acting our worse.

Witnessing death allows me to let go of all the stupid sh*t I try to control, all the nagging I do, all the false perceptions I allow myself to believe and all the worrying about the future.

I leave people in their state of transition, knowing I want to be better. Recognizing the fragility, beauty and gifts that life offers.

Death inspires me to find my power.

I reach for my power despite my circumstances, despite my ego’s tendency to hold me in a state of powerlessness.

Death makes me question and hold myself accountable for all the ways I choose to stay small, all the ways I play it safe, the ways I give away my power so that others feel more comfortable and how I sometimes choose to deny my power out of fear of the unknown.

Death inspires me to live more, do more, be more.

It makes me want more for you as well.

Be inspired.

Wake up in the morning and reach out for something more—inside of yourself and in the life that may have become too complacent.

Look in the mirror and feel nothing but love, knowing that you have a reason for being.

Take a deep breath and really feel it swell inside of you. Then go out into the world and find your “more” for the day.

Let go of self judgment.

Because in your final days you’ll realize that all of the ways you judge yourself don’t really matter. You are here to learn, grow, evolve and experience something beyond your ego. We are who we are meant to be in our personal evolution.


Let joy light up your face any time there is relief from your busy mind; connection in some way, shared thoughts or feelings, day to day routines that become something sacred or a moment that brings laughter. Laugh until your stomach aches. Embrace your life lessons with a smile, knowing that where you are and where you are going is exactly where you should be.


Realize that in this Universal interplay of synchronicity, this Divine set-up, whether it be positive or negative, we all give to each other, learn and grow from each other and learn our strengths, weaknesses, faults, fears and power through our interactions.

Nobody does it perfectly so cut yourself and others some slack.

Enjoy the love of family and friends even when they aren’t who you want them to be—even when they step out of your expectations or trigger your own pain.

Imagine those that you have a hard time with as five year old children. How would you judge them then? When you picture the child inside of someone you will be able to see them with unconditional love and depersonalize what their actions mean for you.

You will see that they are just trying to figure out this thing called life too.

Find gratitude.

For things you forget about; your health—in easy breaths that aren’t labored, in eyes that see clearly and a body that bends into “downward dog” with ease.

Find gratitude in your day to day living.

Get out of your own story about the injustices of your life and choose instead to see beneath the surface, to breath in the experience.

Be grateful for the future; that you can awaken the next day and make plans, choose your thoughts and feelings and create.

You don’t have to worry. You can live carefree.

What some of my patients wouldn’t give to live a day in our reality. What so many others experiencing death, loss, pain and tragedy wouldn’t give to live my life, or yours.

Yet we take it for granted.

Let’s choose instead to find insight, to live fully, even if only for a brief moment, knowing that those moments build on each other and create a beautiful reality built out of inspiration that the dying have given to us.

They may be unaware of this gift they give, but let’s not be.

Let’s be inspired.


Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!


Read 2 Comments and Reply

Read 2 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Adrianne Wagner  |  Contribution: 570

author: Adrianne Wagner

Image: Gideon Chilton/Flickr

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock