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Show up

I'll be honest; there has been a death in the family this week and there is a lot to do.

Such an event is not unusual. And, like many before me who have experienced the same thing, this is a blessing. It was long in coming, certainly not unexpected, all things were handled as best as can be hoped for and we are all fine. It's not always like this. No matter. Whenever it happens, death begs so many questions.

Death is no small event; it requires attention on multiple levels. Like birth, death is utterly ordinary. But birth results in an "I" or a "you" and as such is quite evident and apparent. Death is the opposite. A death is conspicuous by its absence, what is not there. (That one's for you Devora -- happy birthday.) What was once right in front of you is no longer there. It's gone. It's not here. It's no where. There are so many questions with a death. Death brings out the poet in me, the metaphysician, the philosopher, the intellectual, the caregiver, the organizer.

But here is how I know death is exactly like life. You have to show up for it. You can't ignore it. Even if you don't know quite what to do, show up. Be present. Offer help where you can be helpful. Offer yourself even if you think you don't know what would be helpful. Just show up. Be there. Don't shy away, don't be afraid or uncertain. If it's your first time, or your tenth time, show up.

Death only happens once to each of us -- at least as far as I know and to the extent that it matters now -- but you are on the receiving end multiple times in your life. And with each death, you don't get a do-over. So show up. It'll be okay. You'll get through it. And you'll have the opportunity to practice many times over in your life.

So, right now, no matter what, just show up. Be there. I am with you.

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