Life or Death?

To live or to die are most certainly the greatest challenges we face in life.


After my morning sunrise walk and coffee, I was enjoying what is my favourite Sunday activity of late, painting until my heart is content. No where in my imagination or intention was there a thought or need to write about life, death and dying today.

And then a message dropped into my inbox. It was from someone I’ve not met in ‘real time’, but someone who has earned my respect in sharing his thoughts and soul.  It led to a deep and evolving dialogue, and for this reason it is important to share.

The question?

“What happens to people who commit suicide?”

My response took awhile, but this, the unedited response, was sent as fast as I could get the words out, every strand of my soul knowing time was of the essence.


"Your question is penetrating to say the least… and clearly not a short answer… My answering is just that, an ‘ing’ that is not carved in stone, but merely etched in this moment… Like all things it will have typos, and my perspective will transform over time…

Your asking this question this morning was a co-incident, arriving when I was still in the middle of an intersection where my emotions and action had me painting —my way of progressing through any kind of self-inquiry— dealing with my sense of loss and grief over the death of a dear friend.  

While I’ve touched death three times —perhaps its more accurate to say the arcing angles of death reached out and touched me— please know that the thoughts shared here are personal reflections, each based on how my spirit, brain and heart make connections. 

Life and death both revolves around life and living…how we live and how we die are both matters of choice, reflections of how we respond to love, joy, anger, sadness, and pain… 

Life…. from a human perspective, our beginning —birth— is biological; we're the consequence of choices others made. Some assert we chose to incarnate, and while this too may be true, it seems to me that most forget why they came. Living is about remembering, re-membering, building relationships and remembering our connection; or forgetting, for-getting, literally grabbing that leads to all manner of neediness and greediness, every day of many people’s lives Black Friday. From a spiritual perspective I see life as a gift, an opportunity to be unwrapped every day. For me it is a chance and a choice to heal my deepest wounds. How? Through creating a true relationship with ourselves and then co-creating realationships with others. Most humans don’t/can’t/could’n’t/wouldn’t live in a cave, and few are called to monastic life of solitary contemplation. We need one another.

How we live our lives, how we go and grow thought life, is defined by our choices, by our responses to both cause and consequence.

How we exit, death is unique unique from birth. We are free to choose.

Personally, ‘Death with Dignity’ is a choice I have made, a decision made because of self-knowing, and Love. Because there is no iota of fear of death or dying in my body, heart, brain, spirit, or soul, should I ever be diagnosed with a debilitating disease that would remove my ability to make choices, there will be an invitation sent to a celebration of life and love, an experience that shall also be joyous, ‘see you soon’, farewell party.

I know what it feels like to have someone you love choose to exit, as well as have someone you love and care for choose to die by their own hand…. The reasons are a toxic amalgam of mobbing, being judged, ridiculed, bullied, shamed, and blamed; feeling they’ve lost control of their invironment and environment; loss of respect has eroded the sense of meaning; when one no longer feels they belong; when one is stripped of ability; when one feels unwanted or unnecessary… Too often this is stirred by substance, abuse or prescriptive abuse; too often it is shaken by a toxic environment or a lethal relationship. When we judge ourselves or another, putting life under a microscope, picking at the small things, Eternity’s grandeur suddenly feels like a best option. When a glaring light hits such a magnifying glass what’s ignited is a firestorm that extinguishes faith, and any hope that Love is true much less that we’re loveable, and life is worth living.   

Being judged is an assassination attempt on the spirit, and fear incites depression that leads to spiritual suicide. We all know people who are barely living with secrets, doing what they do, biding their time until they die. Purpose and meaning that is measurable are abandoned. 

For others ridicule and not being believed leads to doubt, the greatest time sink, moments that cannot be recovered. Many who live long lives, commit temporal suicide… a lifetime wasted.

Others are bullied to the extent that their soul is broad sided, promises shattered so they never trust themselves or anyone else again. This inner suicide stunts life and prevents promises from ever being made or kept. 

Others are put down so often by shame and blame, that they commit cognitive/psychological suicide, ‘going along to get along' the rule that keeps them in a life of darkess. 

Most physical suicide is seeded in emotional suicide, when one’s heart is denied, they are no longer willing to live a lie, or the sense of feeling worthless.

My perspective is that what happens when we die —however we die— our energy returns to the Grand Universal Recycling System, a System of systems, it’s Pattern Love, and it is there where the bits of stardust that we were —and always will be— are formed, reformed and informed to return again, transformed. 

Love to you and yours,