Here’s 6 practices to try and contemplate your own death,
#1: Learn your birth story
One of the stories that is the most important in our life, yet often gets lost, is our birth story. Many times we don’t have the curiosity around our birth story until it’s too late and our parents have passed on, or have forgotten.
Our invitation is to contact both of your parents (if possible) or anyone who was present at your birth (if possible) and ask some questions we offer below.
Some questions to ask around your birth story:
- The general story around your conception
- The life events and general story around your time in gestation in the womb
- Where you were born
- Who was present when you were born
- How you were born (ie. c-section, natural birth, etc.)
- Were any medications involved in your birth (ie. epidermal)?
- Were there any complications during your birth?
- When did you go home?
- Any significant memories around your birth and first few weeks of life?
- Who was most present during your first months of life?
#2: Identify the connections between birth and death
It might sound morbid at first, but there are many connections between birth and death. In some ways, the passage of birth and death is very similar.
By exploring the possibility that death can be similar to birth, does it take the fear away for you? What does it do for you? Contemplate on this, and let us know what you come up with.
#3: Learn the story of your relative’s deaths
Currently, our culture doesn’t discuss death until we have to. But if we discuss it before it’s our time to go, we ready our consciousness more to the idea, and we increase our chances of having a better death.
You can ask about how your relatives approached their passing, where they passed, how they passed, any lessons or wisdom they shared, or any lessons or wisdom gained from witnessing the passage.
#4: Read books about death
Mostly, these books have helped me to realize that death is something we can truly practice many times before we actually die. Because we’re always dying, in some ways. We’re always shedding, to become reborn again and again.
#5: Explore the topic of death with your therapist
The thing is that when we don’t think about our deaths, we end up putting stress on our families by not making important decisions around our death. We also put stress on ourselves because when it comes our time to go, we don’t have our ducks in a row, and it can add restrictions around our ability to let go.
#6: Venerate the dead
Venerating our dead is something that is truly an honor. It’s important to honor our ancestors, those who came before us, and to pay homage to how we sit on the shoulders of everything they’ve done for us to be where we are today. It not only gives us strength, but it gives us great inspiration as well.
Try it yourself with some of these ideas:
- Light a candle for your ancestors
- Print or find photos of your ancestors and passed family members and…
- Make an altar for your ancestors
- Hold a ritual of your own on Dia de Las Muertos & borrow some of the traditions and also create some of your own
- Ask your family about those who have passed
- Find out any rituals your ancestors practiced, and incorporate them into your life