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Facing Death--- Thoughts after a Funeral

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I've been away, at a funeral for a 93 year old, very classy lady.

It reminded me how death intensifies life. Some of the calmest people I know were on edge, even got angry over silly little things.

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Death does that. Funerals do that. It's not so much about the loss, the pain, I think, as it is about the facing who we are, facing our mortality, facing our values, choices, our biography...

We question a lot. Death inclines us to introspect a lot more for a little while. That is a gift. Not all gifts are gently handed to us. Some are thrown at us and knock us over when they hit us.

Deaths bring friends and family together. Besides the mourning, there is sharing, laughter, reconnection-- remembering and deepening of appreciation of connections we've taken for granted. It's almost like fertilizer. When a crop is harvested, what remains of the plants, of the unharvested parts of the crop get turned over, into the soil, to help feed the next year's crops. Death brings together the people who are left to keep life and love, community and connections going.

Eulogies pull together the stories of the departed. The eulogizer spends a day or three collecting the stories, eliciting them from the people who cared about her. Then these story threads are woven into a tapestry that is used as a balm to ease the loss, to reframe the loss. She is not gone, she is still with us, in our hearts, the way we serve food, the way we treat people.

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My friend Gary Schwartz wrote a book, Living Energy Universe, explaining how any action we engage in reverbates infinitely into the universe. So it is natural that the people who most deeply penetrate our hearts reverberate through our lives, long after they have passed from this earth.

My friend and mentor, Elmer Green wrote a book, Ozawki Book of the Dead, taking a spirtualist approach to life and death, describing how his life partner (more than a wife) Alyce lingered, with Alzheimers, fluctuating in this earthly plane and the other world plane, with her Alzheimers being a kind of transitional state before she passed over.

When I pray, I seek oneness, to drop the boundaries my mind sets up and sustains between me, I, and we, all-- the unitary oneness that is all.

And I talk to god. God pops into my head. At first, god would appear as a guy, in my head. Then a woman-- embarassing, when confronting my lustful thoughts, say, when working out at the gym, on the treadmill, and there's a woman 20 years younger than me in a tight workout outfit. Female god comes into my head, looking over my shoulder, "So, do I turn you on too?" Hard on for god(dess?) Uh uh!! Nope.

And lately, god appears as a squirrell, a snail, a monkey, a pile of sh*t... Yes, a pile of sh*t. Unitary. It's all god. The space between molecules in outer space, pondscum, mountains, the ocean, snowflakes, bacteria, dengue fever, that yucky taste in your mouth when you wake up after having had two beers and not brushed your teeth before going to bed-- god, all god. and god smiles as all of them, tolerating my sh*t.

My atheist readers will scoff, probably, except perhaps for the sh*t part. My born agains will, I don't know, call my a polytheist. Not.

My relationship with death has changed as I've grown older. When I passed the age my father was when he died, that was a big one, going from feared time to borrowed time that is all a gift-- extra, at this point.

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So the quality of the time becomes important to me. I want to do something, I want to use my time to make a difference.

Because, if you are not doing that, if you are not living to the max, doing to the max, aren't you already starting to die?

Sure, it is necessary and healthy to rest. I concluded long ago that life goes through rhythmic cycles, like waves-- that the nature of the unviers is like a spiralling wave-- hearts beating, lungs breathing, tides turning, days turning to night-- all cycles and our minds, our lives, our feelings do the same.

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.

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Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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