Little Deaths: How my own life changes remind me of my mortality

Changes in our lives can be viewed as little deaths. Throughout our lives we will experience these little deaths. If we remain open to them these little deaths provide excellent opportunities to be reminded of our mortality, and re-evaluate our values for living well.

I’ve never written about why I became a funeral director. I recently left my job at the funeral home. I am still a funeral director, but it’s a big change.

I WILL write about why I became a funeral director, my incredible journey, and why I left the funeral home. But not today.

I could write about the grief I am feeling and it’s labels of ambiguous or disenfranchised grief. But not today. Suffice to say I am grieving.

Today I want to write that in that grieving process of working through this little death I have had to commit to the change I made. I can’t go back to working in the funeral home. There are reasons I left. My path has altered course to bring me closer to being authentically me in the way I serve families during dying and after death. I can grieve what I have left behind and honor the unknowns in the future calling me. But my decision carries and absolute finality.

As Anatole France wrote “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”

When we go through major life changes we must let go of who we thought we were, assess what we have learned, and let ourselves transition into who we are now. We carry the past, not as a burden, but within the new person we are becoming. And we have learned just what it means to truly live our own values for living well in order to be willing to experience a little death and enter a new life.

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