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  • Writer's pictureEmma Turner

'That's the cradle of your love of life - the fact that it ends...'

I notice a sense of anxiety whilst considering writing this blog entry.

I notice that I have typed, backspaced, typed, backspaced numerous times in the last half an hour.

I notice a need to get my words and intentions just right, in order to ensure they land softly, avoiding any harm.

I notice the nagging thought in my mind that it would be safer and easier to write about something else.

And all of this noticing informs me that there must be something important to explore. And I know this to be true from the short time I have been working in Private Practice - death and dying is a topic frequently danced around, occasionally leaned into and most often avoided.

And yet...

'It's not success, it's not growth, it's not happiness, it's death. That's the cradle of your love of life - the fact that it ends.'

Stephen Jenkinson

Stephen Jenkinson has worked extensively with dying patients and their families, and has a unique view on what he considers to be our death phobic society. His documentary Grief walker is insightful, enlightening and above all, courageous, and I can highly recommend a dip into it when you feel the timing is right for you. Not an easy watch, but perhaps an important one.

Our own mortality, and that of those we love, feels like an exploration filled with intrepidation. But what if we channelled that angst into remembering why it may feel so difficult? What if the focus became the love of life and the time we have? What if the joy was borne out of the acceptance that we rarely know how long that will be? What if that made us look with fresh eyes at what we had around us, and helped us move with intention into the here and now, and away from the fear of the future.

What if we embraced the shared experience of dying...

'The meanings of life aren't inherited. What is inherited is the mandate to make meanings of life by how we live. The endings of life give life's meanings a chance to show.'

If you would like support in your explorations, please do get in touch:

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