The other day I was in the middle of a conversation and I said “when I die, I would want Still A Mum to stay solid, running and growing many years after I am gone”. I was in a group of seven people and immediately I said that I saw four of them gasp, one of them audibly. As soon as shock left her eyes she said, “Don’t talk like that, you’re not going to die soon”. I immediately asked her how she knew and she opened her mouth then realized she didn’t have a good answer. The conversation went into why we don’t talk about death, burial rituals of various communities and even how to prepare for death. Throughout the conversation, three people spoke while the rest shifted in uncomfortable silence.
Why does talking about death make people so uncomfortable? To be fair, I used to be like that too. Then I started to hung around people who had real conversations about life without hiding from facts. And slowly but surely they rubbed off on me. I began to really think and have tough conversations, I started to face conflicts instead of hiding from them. And I began to think about death in a healthy manner. I say healthy manner here to mean not being unrealistically afraid about death but also not desiring death in the way that comes from depression and loss of hope. It is OK to be afraid of the eventuality of death. It is OK to worry about how and when we will go. But at the same time that fear should not consume us. In fact, a healthy way to look at death is to know it’s coming – and there’s nothing you can do to stop it – but there’s a lot you can do to prepare for it. [Read more…]