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COVID-19 Brought Thoughts about Death and Dying

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

Death and Dying It will happen to all of us.

I had the occasion to have breakfast with a dear friend and was feeling weighed down with sadness and a deep sense of loss. The conversation was fruitful on many levels. The opportunity to share with a trusted Sistuh friend was priceless.

I was able to say out loud that I am not afraid of dying; it’s a part of life for each one of us. There are no concerns about legacy issues, as I know I’ve made a difference in my professional and personal life. If there is a specific sadness, it’s that I wasn’t as available to them as the parent they needed and wanted at critical times in my kids’ lives. Nobody’s perfect, and I know that. There were some important things I missed that I should not have, even though in my mind I was doing what I thought best at the time. What mattered to me, the priorities I had, didn’t measure up to their needs, and for that, I am very sorry.

Luckily, and I feel blessed about this, their daily acts of rebellion never rose to the level of major trouble, incidents with police, etc. They are both grounded, seasoned professionals, good people who continue to inspire and impress others. I love them dearly.

I have lost two very dear friends and supported another dear friend during a 16-month long, painful journey. Her first-born son struggled with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She said from the beginning that he was living on borrowed time. These losses, friends’ responses, and my own grieving have allowed me to revisit my thinking about life and death.

So often, I hear folks commenting “till we meet again,” or some reasonable facsimile of that thinking. It’s a belief that has never resonated with me. I don’t think it did, even when I learned it as a child. The idea that all the people throughout the ages, gazillions of them, will arise and reconnect, and do what…for eternity? I’m more comfortable with the idea that dying is a transition to something else. My grandma used to say you come back as something or someone, the essence of you continuing to improve with each transition/transformation.

Every so often, you hear folks talk about that child is an old soul. S/he has been here before this time. That thinking resonates with me. Having lived almost three-quarters of my life now, I feel pretty good about most things. I wouldn’t mind another journey with a man and perhaps an opportunity to make some serious money again. Otherwise, I’m healthy and strong and most days raring to go.

They say you don’t go till you’re ready. I’m not ready. I guess we’ll have to see what Spirit’s plan is.

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