Death will inevitably make us an offer that we cannot refuse—to surrender into the vastness of a power that is beyond our ability to comprehend. In the meantime, our daily life offers us ongoing opportunities to begin that process of surrender – to “die before we die,” and in so doing, to awaken to a deeper aliveness–a “falling into grace” that turns our mortality into a spiritual companion.
Our Quaker ancestors considered death to be a spiritual event that involved the whole community. When we hide death away, or treat it primarily as a medical event to be managed by professionals, we discourage the dying from doing the profound soul work they need to do as they prepare to enter into this great mystery. As well, the living are robbed of what the dying process might teach them.