This earthly life can often be mysterious just as it is, but the end of an earthly life is a lot more so!
Just over three months ago, my mother reached the transition stage when her physical body became so frail, old, tired, confused, sore and worn-out that she was ready to move on from this earthly world. For quite some time, we’d been observing how she was losing more and more interest in life here – she wouldn’t eat much food and was spending more time sleeping or off in a dreamy state.
The reality of the death of a mother is hard
No matter how much one knows that this stage is timely, necessary and a welcome relief for the soul, it’s still poignant and painful when it actually happens. I found myself experiencing a mixture of emotions such as sadness, loss, peace, gratitude, exhaustion – and relief that my mother’s ongoing suffering was over. Along with this, I also had a sense of wonderment and fascination at all that she would better be able to understand, now that the veil of human perspective had been lifted.
Death is a sacred rite of passage
What comforted and consoled me over this time – and whenever I reflect on the process of death – are the following words:
Thinking of it this way really helps me
I’m endlessly absorbed by this concept that our human life is similar to the life of a baby in the womb of its mother – and that the end of life in the actual womb, as well as the end of an earthly life, are both the beginning of life in a ‘new world’.
Interesting and helpful parallels
The life of a child in the womb offers parallels to our human life in this ‘womb-world’ and gives insights into its purpose and to how it can be used most wisely.
While the baby is still in the womb, it’s preparing itself for being born into its next life, this human world. Even though there isn’t anywhere to run, the baby develops feet and even though it knows nothing of chocolate, it develops taste buds! It grows eyes and hands, despite there not being much to see or to hold.
With intent and purpose the child develops itself in preparation for when it will leave the narrow confines of its ‘first’ life to be born into this world.
And so it is for us
If we see our lives here as a preparation for when we are ‘born’ into the next life, we’re more encouraged to develop the spiritual equivalent of human eyes and ears, limbs and organs.
Even though, like the baby, we have no real understanding of what the next stage will look like, we’re better prepared for when it comes.
Welcomed into a new life
The comfort for me in this analogy is that, while the baby is growing and preparing itself in the womb, there are many people who already love the baby and who are looking forward to welcoming it.
It reassures me to think of my mother being ‘born’ from this ‘womb-world’ into the next world to be reunited with loving souls who have been joyfully awaiting her arrival.
It’s not really possible to understand these things
It’s as impossible for us to understand these mysteries with our finite human minds as it would be for an ant to follow this post! But just because the ant doesn’t have the capacity to understand the human realm, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.
Likewise, just because the next realms are beyond our current level of human understanding, doesn’t mean that they don’t exist either.
Happy new birthday to my mother!
We will always remember and honour our mother’s regular earthly birthday, but we will now celebrate her new birthday, the day that her time in the ‘womb-world’ ended and when she was born into her new life.
And, just as a baby moves from a narrow, dark world to a place of light and wide open spaces, of beauty and undreamed of new experiences, so my mother has her spiritual equivalent of this. I like to think of her soaring through the limitless realms, learning, growing, expanding, experiencing, associating, contributing, rejoicing, supporting and loving. This is certainly something to be celebrated!