I've been listening to a radio programme, where there was a discussion about the fact that for many people the Corona virus has confronted them unavoidably with the reality of their own mortality. And the question was, why are we so frightened of a fact which is true from the day we are born?
It is also true, that most people try to avoid this subject. I remember as a child of maybe 8 or 9, my little sister Suzanne died at the age of about 4 and we siblings, were not allowed to go to the funeral or in any way take leave of her. It was done to spare us our feelings, I guess. Death always seemed to be something to avoid talking about.
So, again, why are we so frightened to look at death as a fact and discuss it? I have personally started to compile all the documents necessary for my executors to be able to take care of anything left behind after my demise: will, prolonging life in hospital or not, funeral details, all the endless bills which have to be stopped, i.e. rent etc. plus, of course, ensuring that this information is known and available when the time comes. My nearest and dearest all have the same reaction when I mention all this - the taboo of death sits very deep.
So how do I look at it? Well, it doesn't frighten me, perhaps, in part, because I have been very close to death on more than one occasion during my life, some occasions due to my own stupid actions, some not.
Through my teacher, what I have learnt is that it's life which is important, the bit between arriving in the world and departing it. I don't know what came before, and I don't know what's coming afterwards and I don't care - it'll take care of itself when the time comes and my worrying or being frightened changes nothing at all except that I am missing the moment speculating about something which hasn't happened and which I can't prevent.
I do my best to be present in the moment and that means ignoring that which isn't happening at the moment. The reality of the moment is life, everything else exists in one's head and that isn't real.
The various religious organisations pretend that they understand what happens when you die, citing a possible great future which you can achieve by believing their words and if you don't listen to them you'll end up in a really bad place. Ignore them: they have no more idea than you do, after all, they are alive and not dead, so it's all guesswork. Do what you can and ensure that you enjoy the life you have within the the means available to you and be aware, we always live in hell or in paradise, depending on our state of mind and circumstances.