In the acceptance of death there is a calm that can not be comprehended or adequately described.
I would like to share a brief story. About three months ago I went down to Melbourne to potentially have radiation to the areas of disease with the idea of stopping the cancer where it was. In chasing this option I was really grasping at the last glimmer of hope that modern medicine could offer me.
In preparation for the radiation I had a staging scan. This scan looked for areas of disease in great detail so that they could all be zapped accurately. After the scan I spent a week at the beach, meditating and juicing and being a little bit excited about the prospect of stopping the cancers that I could see rapidly advancing.
I was in communication with my oncologist during this time discussing the possibility of including hyperthermia with my radiation as I had read some articles indicating this could improve the results. However after my scan her tone changed, and I knew something was up. She suggested coming in so we could discuss things, never a good sign. I went in and during our first meeting found that in the three weeks since my last scan the cancer had spread again. This time deeper into my pelvis to an area that could not be reached by the radiation. It was no longer an option.
I went across Fitzroy park with Amelia and sat on the grass and looked at the trees and the yellow gold leaves shivering in the breeze. The day was warm for the middle of Autumn. The trees were gently shrugging off their summer coats and getting ready to ride out the winter that was coming. And I knew in that instant that I was dying. There was no point in fighting, in struggling. That would only cause pain and anguish. I accepted death as a logical end to life. The only progression that was possible.
I cried, gently weeping with my head rested on Amelia’s shoulder. Thoughts of all the things I would like to do gently floated through my head. I was peaceful and happy. There was a letting go in that moment that was both profound and beautiful.
strangely although I accepted death it was not necessarily the death that the oncologists were sure I would have. I still had every intention of trying to beat the cancer. But I glimpsed in that moment the inevitability of death. The fragility of life, and the wonder that it can contain.
But all things change. I went back into the hospital. The mood was lost amongst the white coats and sympathetic looks. I started struggling again. Mind racing, body scared. Desperate to find something to help me.
And now I find myself once again at that point. I am slowly stopping the struggle, toning down the fear. Looking at life as fragile and beautiful once more. Once again I have not given up, but once again I can see life for what it is. A gift to be savored. Not a possession to be hoarded and coveted. We are each given time on this earth and to spend it railing against an unknown future is futile. To spend it struggling against forces much greater than ourselves will only lead to pain.
Accept life, accept circumstances, accept death. And in that moment of acceptance comes a peace and calm that will fill you with joy in a way no material possession ever could.