Change is hard. This is especially true when we don’t know how the change is going to end. That’s why Death is such a mystery.
Death is a pretty extreme example of a change, but it has a lot in common with other changes. The reason staying the same is appealing is because we feel secure, we feel we know what we’re doing. We worry that the changes we make or go through will end up with things being worse, we don’t like uncertainty. If we die, we could be reunited with dead friends, give up the pains that come with illness, accidents and old age, we could be going to heaven. But what if there really is a hell where we’re going to be punished, maybe for things we don’t remember doing or didn’t intend? That makes death sort of scary. Even the possibility of a good change makes us anxious when we don’t know for sure what’s “on the other side of the door”. Better stay here with the pain that’s familiar than risk a change for the worse.
One great thing we know about change is that when something dies or goes away, it makes way for something new. Certainly if nothing died, there’s be no room for new animals, or plants to be born. If we don’t throw out some of our old stuff (we may not use any more for whatever reason), we won’t have room for bringing in new stuff. Clearing away the old not only removes the stuff that was getting in your way, it also attracts something to fill that space. Don’t believe me? Clear a table or desk top; the next thing you know someone will eagerly put a basket or box or bundle on it. At very least it’s a great space for sorting other stuff you need to decide whether to keep or ditch. Nature abhors a vacuum. This works with time and behaviors just as much as it does with physical space. If you want to add something to your life, the easiest way is to get rid of something else.
If we aren’t ready to embrace the possibilities of what comes after life, we’re going to be stuck desperately fighting entropy, because the physical world requires break down/ destruction in order to have creation. Life and growth depend upon the ‘compost’ of what has finished its cycle. Luckily, Death is the great blessing that we all get at the end. No matter how hard we try, we will cross that barrier and find out what’s on the other side. I expect some of us would keep holding onto an achey body, just as we keep driving a car that is in the shop more than it’s getting us places, or wearing the old clothes that we remember being gorgeous, but aren’t any more. Sometimes friends have to remind us it’s time to let go of the old, and embrace something new. More often than not, the change is positive, and we wonder why we resisted it so long.