A time will come in each of our individual lives when we experience the passing away of someone close to us.
Death is something which, although sometimes extremely hard to face up to, is inevitable for us all. Looking out over the graveyard, smiling pansies dotted across the land and with the gentle lullaby of wooden wind chimes hanging from the pink and white blossoming trees, a sense of unease washes over me. The image of a thousand pieces of stone, jutting up from the land, is a blunt representative of a concept so mysterious to us is hard to comprehend when surrounded by such jovial life and vivacity, reflective of how hard it is to comprehend that they are gone from my life. It is so hard for us all to bear, almost for us to actually believe, that one day we can have someone close enough to touch and to interact with one day, and the next for them to be absent.
It is the general consensus that part of what makes living people alive is to have a functioning physical body. To function biologically; to take in oxygen, for a heart to beat within us and for blood to circulate through our veins, for it is of course at the sharp, precise point when our hearts discontinue their monotonous yet glorious beat, that we are considered to have passed away. It is the remains of our bodies which are signified by the physical presence of a grave – that morbid, disheartening representation of death. But this is not all we are.
Aside from the physical aspect of being in the world, we are also thinking, feeling creatures, alive within. Some people are extroverts; happy to be the centre of attention, loudly spoken and hilariously funny with a sharp wit, but with a more reserved side which is only exposed to those they know. Other people are quiet, brooding, thoughtful, with a dry sense of humour and high hopes for the future. We are all different inside, and the none-physical aspect of our personalities are multi-faceted. It is almost our job, as human beings, to deliver the metaphysical, underlying part of our existence out into the open world through means of physical expression. For some, it is this untouchable, invisible part of a human which makes us really, truly alive.
Think about it: it is not the physical shell of a person’s life on Earth that we miss when we are bereaved, but really, the none-physical legacy that they leave behind. It is the memories of a person’s personality, of their likes and dislikes, their hopes and dreams and the quirky ideas they would have that ultimately constitutes what their life was when they die, and indeed, what constitutes all of our lives when we are living. The name given to this part of a human’s existence is the ‘soul’. The soul is a person’s essence, their core, their inner being. It is made up of all of their internal thoughts, feelings and traits which makes a person an individual and encourages us to love them. The idea of a soul existing within us all makes the concept and the reality of death more of a curious issue. When someone passes away, it seems like such a waste that this rich tapestry of interlinking thoughts and memories just fade away with the remains of the person’s body – but this may not be the case. The soul is said to be transcendent, to live out the material, and to be eternal in it’s existence. This means that the actual essence of a person is able to live on forever- perhaps in another life form.
Reincarnation is the name given to the process which allows the soul to enter into another body, and live again. This means that everything a person has been in life, expressed through their soul, can be directly transferred straight into another physical entity, able to express itself once more.
Reincarnation is a very real possibility- it is an element of many world faiths, and is a large portion of spiritual contemplation for many people. The idea of another chance at life is a very humbling, comforting thought for all of us. It takes away the sting and fear of death, for ourselves and for those we know who have passed away, resonating within us the opportunity to really feel what life is like within our current situations, what our souls are teaching us. Perhaps when we die, it is the end for our biological shells, our transport, if you like, but a new beginning for our essence.
Perhaps we are all conceived into empty shells, injected with life by some greater influence at the point of birth, free once more to live and to learn within another physical embodiment.
Have you ever met someone who you feel you have known before? Perhaps this signifies a previous meeting of souls. Perhaps our souls have their own ways of finding their way back to those they have loved and let go before. It could be, that the people close to you who have passed away, are emanating their love for you that was felt deep within the essence of themselves, entwined within their souls, from other, sometimes unseen physical entities all around us. Those that are gone are not always lost.
With this in mind, looking out over the graveyard is an entirely different experience. What I see is a scrapbook of memories and dedications, names carved in a tree, a map of biological goodbyes, strewn across the Earth to signify a pleasant time for our souls in this life when loved by others, only to meet again sometime in the future, to love once more.
By Lisa Davies
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