Excerpted from Spiritual Turning Points:A Metaphysical Perspective of the Seven Life Transitions
"Western culture does not embrace the concept of aging, so why would it embrace death and the dying process as more than rituals of sympathy and remembrance? Talk of impending death is often accompanied by condolences and feelings of loss that, without a larger perspective of the natural return to another life through reincarnation, focuses on the sadness or grief and not on what is a very natural process. Of course, when the call toward death arrives prematurely as through illness or in some cases the taking of life, the
initial response is usually shock and disbelief. When the transition begins later in life, there can be feelings of relief, wanting life to be over due to the restrictions of physical decline and intellectual confusion while in some cases, denial that anything is happening at all is the primary response and one that maintains safety from the margins of death that are inevitable.
From the moment of birth, we are aging and the eventuality of death cannot be denied. Still, as a culture, we dote on youth and are surprised when old age creeps up on us. “This surely can’t be happening to me!” and “I’m too young to die” echo throughout hospitals, nursing homes, and offices of private physicians who bore the “bad news.” Police stations inform families of the early death of their son or daughter, victims of a freeway automobile accident. Death is everywhere, yet we remain oblivious to it unless it knocks on our door.
There is, however, another way as nature shows us the natural process of birth, growth, decline, and death only to be followed by another cycle the next year. We wake in spring to enjoy the beauty of our gardens only to be disappointed when the flowers begin to die, as we wish for more time with our irises and tulips. The same is true with life as we cling to youth, resisting the natural beauty of the aging process. How easily nature gives way to decline following a bountiful harvest and the waning of the moon following the full. We could learn so much if we recognized that resistance to this process only brings emotional pain and could instead allow for transformation."
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