It’s a good time of year to think about death.
Mercury is transiting Scorpio. As is Venus. And the Sun will soon move into the sign – a sign often connected with death, metaphorical and otherwise, transformation through death.
Hallowe’en, Samhain, Dia de los Muertos, Guy Fawkes, and Remembrance Day are celebrated during this season.
And where I live, Autumn is autumnal, and brings a certain aspect of death expressed in nature.
Trees shed their leaves – those leaves are dead to the tree, it’ll create new ones in Spring.
There’s one tree in my garden though which won’t be doing that. It didn’t do it this year and won’t be doing it next year unless it has some power of resurrection and complete regeneration.
That tree was killed by another plant – a honey fungus.
You can’t see the honey fungus, it is underground, spreading. The only time you can see it is on the victims whose lives it has already claimed. And in Autumn when it produces flowers – mushrooms.
I took some photographs of mushrooms in my garden yesterday.
I suddenly felt inspired to do that… perhaps because in the morning, just after I’d woken from a dream, one of the first semi-conscious thought-conversations which drifted across my mind was about how I would die.
It wasn’t a disturbing thought for me.
I’ve thought about my own death since I was a child.
I enjoyed the macabre when young and regularly played dying games.
I’ve acted out in play, imagined and dreamed – being shot, stabbed, bludgeoned, burned at the stake, ripped apart, tortured to death, poisoned, melting in a nuclear apocalypse, suffocating, prematurely buried, the floor is lava and I fell in, walking the plank, drowning, eaten alive, crashing, falling off a cliff, having a tree fall then being trapped underneath it and crushed.
One of the questions I asked of myself while thought-conversing was – Why do you never imagine yourself having a peaceful death?
When I first became aware of the honey fungus in my garden and then researched its process… I imagined being one of the plants it attacked and dying as it did.
The plants which get attacked and invaded by the honey fungus die a slow death, the fungus penetrates the roots and gradually constricts, blocks, subverts, until nutrients can no longer pass from below to above.
The plants know they’re going to die, they can feel it coming, deep underground, and just before they do, they flower, fruit, leaf more bountifully than ever before.
As a human looking at the death of that plant all you see is growth, magnificent life bursting forth – Wow that plant is doing well, it’s healthily healthy!!!
If you’re a gardener you might take credit for such a glorious display of nature – Ah, my hard work, all the fertilising and feeding, pruning and weeding, all the care and attention, love and affection has paid off at last!
So it’s a bit of a shock to the human system when the next year it’s dead and nothing you can do will bring it back to life.
One of the side effects of all of my thoughts and imagining of death, is to be aware that not just myself but every living being around me could die at any moment and nothing I can do will bring them back once they’re gone.
Which brings me to this question: Why do we have such trouble telling our loved ones that we love them? Do you have that kind of communication issue with your loved ones?
Asked by Melanie of Sparks in her latest Share Your World
I used to find it difficult to tell loved ones that I loved them… but that was mainly because I didn’t love them.
I was supposed to love them, or so I was told repeatedly by everyone around me, including the ones I was supposed to love, and so I supposedly loved them – however every time I said “I love you” it felt like a lie, and I felt a piece of me die inside as I lied.
When I did experience love for another, I found it hard to let them know I loved them…
because of what I said in the paragraph above and all that I didn’t say in it about that experience.
because I was confused about how to express love, unsure of what love was, uncertain that I could do it yet certain that it would never be enough, not good enough, whatever I did always failed except to disappoint.
because I was afraid of being hurt, of being a fool, of making a fool of myself, being made fun of, ending up used, abused, then thrown away like a broken toy which no longer entertains.
Ego, pride, intellectual barriers, and other things along those lines got in the way.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
Nowadays I find it easy and enjoyable to let those I love know that I love them every day in a myriad of ways.
If they’re human, they’ll hear “I love you” and other words regularly said out loud for them to hear – hello my lovelies, you’re lovely, that’s lovely, I’m proud of you, what a wonderful job, that’s brilliant, thank you very much for XYZ, for being you, you look radiant, you’re amazing, etc.
They’re all words I love to hear too when they’re genuine (the energy is different when it’s genuine – it feels like nourishment given rather than taken away). I know someone loves me, is sending love my way.
If they’re human, they may or may not notice some of the other things I do or don’t do to let them know I love them because some are very subtle. They’re not being done or not done to be noticed, they’re not asking for attention or demanding acknowledgment of receipt.
And they’re more for me. They’re part of my joy in loving. I’m quietly, gently surrounding and supplying those I love with my love.
I receive love when I give it – the energy flows freely forwards and backwards, around in a circle, a figure of eight.
If you’re wondering how not doing something expresses love…
Well, for me personally that takes the form of not getting upset about things I was overly sensitive about.
I used to be overly sensitive about people not listening to me when I finally said something – it used to take me forever to organise my thoughts and translate them into speech.
So when I did speak it was a big event for me… but to others it wasn’t.
And I often spoke at the wrong time – when someone was focusing on something else, caught up in their own story and didn’t have time for mine, on the phone, had moved on from the conversation which I was still in.
Or it took me forever to get to the point, answer the question, what I said was confusing, garbled. (like in my blog posts).
When I realised it was my problem and not theirs… I don’t need to be overly sensitive about that anymore.
Although being sensitive about it can be helpful – not something to become upset about, something to help not become upset. Noticing when people are listening enabled and when they’re not is useful now.
“Here is a relationship booster that is guaranteed to work:
Every time your spouse or lover says something stupid― Rumi
make your eyes light up as if you
just heard something
Think of all those pet peeves which almost all of us have, those things which bug us, which make us maybe get angry at someone else, upset and offend us, make us lash out aggressively or passive-aggressively… especially when we’re feeling sensitive, vulnerable, when what they say or do or don’t say or don’t do causes us to experience hurt.
And maybe a drama begins because of this…
It’s not only you and your pet peeves, your sore spots, your trigger points… just like you, they have them too.
You both have the ability to start a drama over a something the other person said, didn’t say, did, didn’t do.
You both have the ability to not start a drama. Or to take a break in the middle of one. To pause and consider… what is this really about? Why am I doing this, saying this? Where are we going with this and do we want to go there?
Sometimes a drama happens anyway, it’s been brewing for a while, needs to happen to clear the air, is inevitable, unavoidable, maybe it happens because you’re both trying to stop it from happening.
There are many variables, there’s no perfect formula which is right for every occasion…
And maybe that drama goes on and keeps going.
What if you or they suddenly died in the middle of that drama?
Maybe the drama caused the death by accident?
Did you have a fight about something stupid which didn’t seem stupid in that moment while in a moving car?
You thought you had all the time in the world to…
and maybe you do still have time but not with them anymore…
you now have time to regret, hate yourself, hurt yourself, replay over and over, painful wishing, if only, why did you, why didn’t you, why did they, why didn’t they, and you may find it hard to ever love again.
If you can’t love yourself… can you let anyone else love you? Can you love anyone else?
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
Just some thoughts shared…