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A Glimpse Into Death

October 31, 2011

I love this story.

The New York Times ran a moving eulogy written by Steve Jobs’ sister for his funeral. After a tender look at his life, personality and struggle with decline, she ends with this:

“His breath indicated an arduous journey, some steep path, altitude.  He seemed to be climbing.

But with that will, that work ethic, that strength, there was also sweet Steve’s capacity for wonderment, the artist’s belief in the ideal, the still more beautiful later.

Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times.

Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.

Grand Canyon and north 156 Steve’s final words were:
OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.”

When I read this, memories and sensations from a near-death glimpse into life outside of this one came flooding in to fill every cell of my body with a smile. I remembered the deep, familiar sense of recognition, of belonging, of wonder at the beauty and balance and purposefulness of it all.

That brief time of crossing over and leaving the body and human behind after being crushed under a car, was by far the most vividly real and self-evident experience of my life, so real it makes the rest of this human life look like a stage drama we’re creating together.

Years later, sitting with hospice patients I occasionally witnessed someone who appeared to be glimpsing through the thinning veil.  I saw the joy of recognition light up their faces as they conversed with the unseen, heard the cry of joy and reunion, did my best to provide a listening ear for those puzzled by the visions they discovered.

Dying can appear hard and ugly. Death itself is simple and beautiful. Don’t ever fear it. It’s where we come from and melt back to, over and over again, and will embrace you with a core-deep sense of familiarity and belonging. We’re never out of the all-permeating Light, and between lives – when we peek under the veil –  it is self-apparent.

“To die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.”  – Walt Whitman

To read more that will comfort you forever about death and dying, you can pick up Dance Through It for $5.99 right now.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 7, 2011 12:35 pm

    Beautiful and so true, I can feel it to the core of my being. Thank you for reaffirming.

  2. November 18, 2011 10:55 pm

    OH Wow! Oh Wow! Oh Wow! Were the same words I used as I looked death in the eye just after ingesting Bella Donna. At which moment I freely and openly accepted my mortality I looked it in the eye and was without fear!

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