Boston Women’s Journal - October/November 2004

Thoughts on the Life Cycle

Recently I unexpectedly lost a close friend. By anyone’s measure it was “before her time.” She was vital and creative and strong and generous. My life and many others are the poorer for her loss. Her death was a result of a “routine” knee surgery ending in totally unexpected heart failure.

In my work as Medical Intuitive and healer I do see death and dying – both are, of course, a part of life. In the aftermath of a death that was almost certainly avoidable I am left with feelings of frustration and anger, and a deep wish that the surgery was not presented as “routine.” Her death put me in a tailspin that has taken me weeks to break out of. It was certainly not my first experience with the death of a loved one, but it gave me great grief.

We are given by nature many ways to heal. Sometimes they are successful and sometimes not. I believe that for every illness there is a cure in nature, however, sometimes we are not wise enough or quick enough to find it. Myself and many others in both the traditional and alternative medical world are always seeking and striving to provide the best possible ways to help people along the path to optimal quality of life and health. We work hard and do the best we can. Often it is enough. But having seen people survive for years with conditions that challenge them or which are often diagnosed as untreatable or fatal, I wonder at the paradoxes of living a long life.

As part of my work I teach a spiritual pathway that leads us to listen to our guidance and to heed the teachings of a higher power and of our own inner knowing. I believe that certainly helps to tip the scales in our favor. Can we teach ourselves and our children to live well, eat well, listen to the lessons of heredity and environmental challenges, be in peace with the world, and “walk the beauty way?” This can be a big challenge when trying to get dinner done after a long day’s work.

There is no line between the psyche and the body. The concept of psychosomatic illness is to me ridiculous. We cannot help but be psychologically affected by not feeling well for long periods of time, nor can we feel physically well when we are not in harmony with our lives. Is it all about balance?

Yes and no. Some death is inevitable and senseless, some comes at the end of a productive and long life. We cannot avoid death in its messiness and the pain it brings the survivors. Denial of death is like denial of life. However if we work with a death consciousness, an awareness that each minute is precious and special, then each day we are given has meaning and truth. When I speak of a death consciousness I don’t mean a morbid fascination with death, but rather a way of seeing the end of life as part of the life process, as a life consciousness. We must be aware whenever possible that we are alive and changing and growing at all times. We must take time in life to meditate and appreciate and feel the kindness of friends and family. We must take our place in the world to help others who are less fortunate and live in societies where unforeseen death is a daily occurrence.

The leaves turn colors and fall from the trees, and so we also age and change, and are possibly reborn. Eternal youth is neither desirable nor possible. Would you wish to be the person you were ten years ago and return all the wisdom and skills you have gained? I certainly would not. Have I completed all the life tasks I have set for myself should I die tomorrow? Of course not. But in order for the death we witness and mourn to have meaning we must try and live full and meaningful lives, and to savor each mouthful of joy. To do less is to dishonor ourselves. That is what I have learned from the death of my friend.

In loving memory of Mardozo.