Death is the material world’s boogey man and aging signals its approach. It’s not taken too seriously when you are your twenties unless you have illness struggles, but once you cross the threshold of the thirties the fear begins amping up. This is the sales pitch of cosmetics, plastic surgery, and most everything on the market that’s designed to make you feel good about yourself and that new wrinkle, about that inescapable guest on your calendar.
Death is one of the greatest fallacies, perhaps number one. It is an unavoidable outcome of a separate self, only it, like the separate self, isn’t quite real. When you die, contrary to accepted opinion, you don’t miss a beat, for you have not died at all. Only the body has passed into legend.
Kenny and I were driving south on Hwy 101, headed back to our sailboat in Mexico from a trip up north. I was meditating in the passenger seat as I often did and when I opened my eyes, I saw a big iridescent blue dragonfly smash into the windshield. That should have been the end of that beautiful creature, but it wasn’t. The dragonfly didn’t miss a single winged beat, flying right through the glass. It zoomed past my ear and exited through the truck’s back window glass. It was in form but not solid.
Is something similar happening around us all the time? Are we simply not present enough to see it?
Ten years later Ken died and if I had been truly present, present to life as it is without my resistance to his death, I would have seen him step out of his body and walk over to my side, put his hand on my cheek and kiss me goodbye. I was not present. I was grieving deeply, caught in the throes of loss, of what was and would not be, and missed his beautiful exit.
I did, however, experience the end of his departure from the visible realm. Several hours after his death, a whisper of grey smoke rose from the top of his head, a clearing of his crown chakra. It was faint, but not so faint that it was easy to miss. I was beholding my lover for the last time in this incarnation and couldn’t miss the display of honor for a life well lived.
When you die you disappear from the sight of those still residing in separation. If you didn’t believe in separation, if all the beliefs stabilizing the illusion had been seen through, you would see that this world, this materiality, is far from being all there is.
You are always present to something, most often not present to what is. You are not truly available as long as any scrap of identity remains, as long as the separate self reigns. You are present to and living as that scrap of identity. I was present as the grieving wife, the one left behind, the holder of intense personal loss. Separation still had its hooks in me. The loss had set the barb ever more deeply.
Being present, fully experiencing, is not about what was. It is not about the absence that will be. It is now, empty of all requirements for the actuality to behave any way other than as it is. It is openness, the willingness to feel all that wafts through the form, grief and anger included.
When Pig’s Fly 2023 — excerpt